The Sunday Soapbox: We Begin With The Airing Of Grievances

Now then, where was I?  Oh yeah…I quit!  Ish!

I’ve discovered three things since I walked away from my keyboard three and a half weeks ago.

Firstly, the feeling of NOT having to drunkenly knuckle punch a post out every second night for six months, no matter how much I had thought they resembled what my cat threw up on the carpet is a glorious feeling indeed.  Secondly, unbeknownst to me, I picked the single worst week to stop writing about our collective obsession.  And the third thing I’ve learned?  There are extremely generous souls around this series of tubes that will happily lend you a corner of their sandbox if you want it (Thanks Graeme)  And that’s why I’m here. 

The plan is a weekly post on whatever happens to pique my interest/amuse me/piss me off about the Senators in particular or hockey in general.  Sometimes it will be a mash up of a bunch of things, sometimes a long post on a single topic, sometimes a well reasoned profanity laced screed in response to the latest idiotic brain droppings in the Ottawa Sun (or elsewhere…it can happen) and sometimes I’ll simply be strapping on my onion belt to wave my cane around and scream at you damn kids to get the hell off my lawn.  How that’s going to work…I have no idea.  So let me know what you like, what you don’t like and if you have pictures of a naked Sergei Gonchar doing unspeakable things to barnyard animals (especially that one…something has to get him the hell off this team).

For Opening Day, we’re talking about Kovy, dads, who should be fired, who shouldn’t, Snoopy’s groins of Jell-O, and those tender souls feigning righteous outrage over the conduct of one uppity rookie.

Then, maybe we’ll talk about Kovy some more, just because.  No, seriously.  Fuck that guy.

Jump for the ranty pants.

On the off chance that I may in any way have been unclear…FUCK that guy: 

I’m having a hard time deciding what I found most infuriating about Kovy’s little hissy fit.  Was it the mind blowing lack of self awareness (“It’s been that way my whole career!!  WHY ME, OH LORD?!?!”) or the Little General caving and putting him back on the top line in the very next game?  Or maybe it’s the utter certainty held even by those, like me, who would like nothing more to see this particular ass boil lanced and packed into a steamer trunk for a long trip to the KHL that when he applies his otherworldly talents to their fullest, he is a breathtaking player who can take over a game all by himself.  Wait!  I got it!  It’s the fact that he STILL chooses not to!  That’s it.  That’s what’s most infuriating.   At this point I’ll happily slam the door on 27’s departing ass on the 1st of July even if he puts up 100 points from now until April, single handedly pulls this team into the playoffs, wins us a Cup while being a unanimous pick for the Hart and Conn Smythe while healing sick kids, the blind and infirm and renting the lake to Jesus on weekends for the whole “walking on water” thing.  In other words, screw Alex Kovalev and the lazy “enigmatic” horse he rode in on.

Why The Little General should be fired: 

With the exception of a notable few (Hi Mike!  How’s the missus?) it’s becoming increasingly obvious that a veteran laden line-up is too old, too set in their ways and just too damn stubborn to change their respective games to fit into the system Clouston is trying to sell (heavy forecheck, bust your ass on the backcheck when the latter blows up).  So to compensate, he’ll take the line blender out for a spin which then results in…you guessed it…even more stubbornness from a veteran laden line up and another goalless loss.  Now, I’m no highly paid guru of this kind of thing, but it seems to me that the only time we’ve tasted even the most fleeting of sweet success is when the coach learns to park his ego, fill out the lineup card and just let four lines roll.  Unless he’s willing to do that from here on out, I fear it will end badly for him, something I think we’ll all regret in hindsight.  Just sayin’…

Why The Little General should not be fired: 

See above.  Paddock, Hartsburg, The Bryan (Redux) and now Clouston.  Um…maybe it’s you, gentlemen.  Seriously, this team is damn near uncoachable.  It’s as if the players slapped a coat of shellac on the 2007 game plan (but it got us to the Finals!!) and can’t for the life of them figure out why it doesn’t work anymore.  Here’s a hint: no Heater, no jam, everybody is four years older and the worst defence in the history of ever.  Any questions?  That said, we’re on the cusp of not so much a rebuild as a reload with a bunch of sexy sexy kids coming up (wait, what??) and a pile of money coming off the cap.  I say give Cory a chance to prove what he can do with players that might actually listen to him.  And if that doesn’t work?  Well, then sheeeit…can his ass.

The same can not be said for the Top Dog: 

I think that we can all agree that it’s high time The Bryan start feeling a little heat, yes?  After all, we can’t go blaming Muckler forever, can we?  Sure, he’s done a passable job restocking the farm as far as it goes, and the next few years may yet reveal the depth of his player evaluation genius.  But the Big Club?  Not so much.  If the Emperor wants we groundlings to stop sending angry emails threatening to cancel our season tickets or ranting incoherently on the call-in shows, then we need to see A Plan.  If there is, in fact, A Plan.  I’m not entirely sure there is.  And if there is, signing useless bags of pus to long term contracts, giving a one way contract to the worst draft pick of the Muckler era, handing out NTCs like free crack at a rehab clinic, saddling the team with the softest, most execrable defence ever assembled, dealing for a gutless eunuch to play goal, and trading away draft picks for deadline rentals is a really, really shitty plan.

Speaking of the Gutless Eunuch:

I am fucking done with Pascal Leclaire, and I hope (GAWD do I hope) that both Cory and The Bryan are as well.  I’ve played with guys like this, both in hockey and football.  Incredible talents who could win you games if they’d stop bitching and moaning about their hangnails and how they just don’t “feel quite right”.  The kind of guys who would flop around on the ice or field for ten minutes, not because whatever happened to them was particularly painful, but because they needed to sell their latest lame ass excuse for not playing better and didn’t want to be embarrassed.  In short, they’re all fucking pussified quitters who, rather than be constantly excused for their actions, should be fed into a wood chipper so they know what the rest of the team has been playing through.  Sports lionize toughness and punish perceived weakness proportionately.  T’was ever thus, and God willing, ever thus t’will be.  So, yeah.  Fuck off Pascal Leclaire.  Get the fuck off my team.

Pithy Observations of Questionable Importance:

Somebody needs to explain all of the teeth gnashing and garment rending surrounding the Omarkian Shootout Spin-O-Rama, because I just don’t get it.  Did the kid violate some sacred code and ruin the venerable institution that is the OT shootout?  Or maybe it was that the pointy foreheads charged with making the game more exciting in order to sell more giant foam puckhead hats to Arizonians were just pissed he did it in the wrong game?  Again, I don’t get it…Can we please mercifully smother the “AW…the boys Dads are watching.  They’re SURE to play harder now!” meme that has invaded the MSM and some blogs of late?  Sure, you always want to impress your parents, especially when you’re playing a game.  When you’re fucking twelve.  Know what else should motivate professional athletes to play to their utmost other than finally convincing their dads to hug them more often?  The giant fucking paycheque they get for playing a game (and which, by-the-by, keeps them in monkey butlers, hookers and blow) while the rest of us shell out a mortgage payment to watch them do it.  I should think that would be quite enough motivation, don’t you?

Have a good week everybody.  Happy Festivus, and Go Sens.