Game 78 of what has turned into a long end of season run for what appears to be last in the Eastern Conference. While I’m not prepared or ready to write my end of season epitaph (big word), I am in a state of sheer and utter complacency. Meaning, tonight’s game between the Ottawa Senators and the Florida Panthers is another game that has little energy surrounding it. I’m certainly not going to help spruce it up at this point.
Even though these two teams are “fighting” for 15th in the conference, Ottawa at least has been playing some better and improved hockey since their 1-13-4 slump from December 29th to February 9th. Since that time they have played a very respectable 12-8-2, have killed 76 of 79 penalties, and have rid themselves of the enigma called Alexei Kovalev. Also they have acquired and signed to a long term deal former Panther goaltender Craig Anderson, as he is expected to be the “man between the pipes” for the Senators. Good luck with that!
Well, Anderson is 8-4-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his 14 Ottawa starts, but never one to be pessimistic, I just don’t see him as the long term answer. But that’s why I’m behind a keyboard, and he’s actually on the ice earning 4 mill or something like that per season. Really? What the hell did I do wrong? Center Jason Spezza and young defenceman Erik Karlsson are a couple guys to be on the watch for. Crazy that Spezza is considered almost a veteran at this point, but he is. Coulda been a Panther, but Uncle Jack and his sidekick Randy wouldn’t pull the trigger. Again. Gunshy. The story of the past decade at times when it comes to trades here.
The Panthers may be sending a message unconsciously to management that yes, scoring is a problem. Five goals in their recent five game road trip would indicate that putting the biscuit in the basket, or the car in the garage, or the hitting the back of the twine is difficult. That same message is being sent via this website to Mr. Knowsnothing in section 116. Oh, and I still can’t believe that some of believe that Stephen Weiss makes that much of a difference. Really? Where’s he been?
I’m tired of the gutsy efforts and the hard work and the missed chances. The anxiety of having to play mistake free hockey every single night is exhausting isn’t it? A loss tonight would be the seventh in a row for Florida. The same thing happened around this time of year last season. Seeing a pattern? Who’s to blame? The players? Well the roster is virtually completely made over. The coaching staff? Gord Murphy is new and has improved the penalty killing unit, but Pete and Jim Hulton are still here. You could make the argument that you can’t get blood out of a rock, but that gets kinda old.
In closing, I’ll be at the game tonight sitting in my seat, face in my hands wondering how this ended so fast. There’s only five more games left counting tonight. Another year of no playoffs, and another summer of what will we do is upon us.
Can someone give me reason to be excited?
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