Pregame Wednesday ramblings

Whether it’s the Dany Heatley trade or the annual contributions made to organizations like CHEO, Roger’s House or the Heart & Stroke Foundation, the city of Ottawa has deservedly earned its reputation as a charitable and supportive community.

Today was no exception.

Almost 6,000 people were in attendance for this morning’s service at ScotiaBank Place to celebrate the life of Daron Richardson. It’s an awesome outpouring of support for the Richardson family who were courageous enough to make the memorial public and help raise the profile of mental health issues in youths.

Among those in attendance was the entire Senators roster who flew back to Ottawa in the midst of a road trip to lend their support to Luke Richardson – a former teammate and a current assistant coach.

“What is travelling on a game day? What does all that mean? It’s so immaterial, it’s not even on our minds. It’s about being here for the Richardsons.”

Even though those are some true words spoken by Chris Phillips, the Senators organization has conducted itself with such class. When you read stories like the one in which Cody Bass has enlisted some help to organize a pair of special fundraisers in memory of Daron, you can’t help but be filled with an overwhelming sense of pride for this hockey family on such a sad and tragic day.

I believe that the Ahead by a Century blog put it best:

Nobody saw this coming and nobody’s to blame which is the important thing out of all this.  It doesn’t matter why it happened now, it just did and unfortunately it happens way too often.  Ask for help if you need it and offer help if you can, you never know what lending an ear or shoulder can do or how many lives it can save.  I urge my readers to support mental health and give a donation for  the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health if you can.

Fisher Has To Be Better

It seems like every season, there comes a point in which Mike Fisher’s production gets called into question and he immediately goes on a scoring tear to quell any concern. Yesterday, Canwest Media featured an article that looked at Mike’s recent struggles. I didn’t really notice it during the Philadelphia game but apparently Clouston benched Fisher for part of Monday’s 5-1 loss, and the 30-year-old ended up playing 15:27, down from his season average of 18:40. When explaining the center’s struggles, Clouston said, “He’s not 100 per cent, but he’s healthy enough to be effective out there. He needs to be better. We think, at times, he’s playing well, and at times we think he’s not being the player we need him to be. And whether he’s healthy enough to be physical, he still has to be in on the forecheck, he still needs to be solid on the backcheck and good defensively. There are lot of players who are not 100 per cent throughout the season. It’s just the way it is. You have to make adjustments to your game, but you still have to find a way to be effective.”

Here’s a closer look at Fish’s numbers this season:

  • With 3 goals and 4 assists this season, he’s currently on pace for approximately 18 goals and 32 points.
  • He has the worst plus/minus rating amongst Ottawa’s forwards with a -6.
  • He averages the third most ice-time amongst the forwards.
  • He’s second on the team in hits with 29.
  • He has the fourth most shots on goal.
  • He leads the team in missed shots.
  • He leads the team in blocked shots with 19.

Most importantly, he’s currently only 2 or 3 points behind his career norm pace (40-45 points). I’m not as concerned about his lack of production as I am about his inability to develop chemistry with Daniel Alfredsson. (Note: I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now because of his health.)

Trim the Blueline?

Yesterday Bruce Garrioch mentioned that Bryan Murray would be looking to move one of David Hale or Brian Lee by Thursday. Since Hale has already cleared waivers once already this season, he’s the likely candidate to be demoted to Binghamton. As discussed on the most recent episode of The 6th Sens Podcast, it’s ironic that the same contract situation that has screwed over Brian Lee for the past few seasons is the same one that is keeping at the NHL level. With no teams reportedly showing an interest in acquiring the defenceman via trade, Hale has outplayed him and deserves to stick with this team.

Kovalev Going For 1,000 Tonight

As if you needed any other reason to watch tonight’s game. With one more point, L’Enigma will become renowned as the most disappointing 1,000 point guy in NHL history.

Carleton University Seminar

For those who have time tomorrow, Professor John Soares is spending this fall at Carleton University researching Canada’s role in Cold War hockey for his book on hockey and Cold War international relations. Prof. Soares will present his latest research at a political science research seminar tomorrow (Nov. 18th) from 2:30-4:00pm in Room A602 of the Loeb Building at Carleton University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Soares, who is the 2010 Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in North American Studies, ordinarily teaches history at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. He plays a cautious defence on the Notre Dame faculty-staff hockey team. The title of his talk is Hockey is One of the Milder Forms of the Cold War – Except When the Canadians are Playing: Canada in (and out of) international hockey, 1948-1976.

Jared Cowen News

Via the Spokane Chiefs website:

Calgary, AB. – The Western Hockey League in association with the Canadian Hockey League and SUBWAY® have announced that Spokane Chief defenseman Jared Cowen will serve Team WHL Captain for game five of the SUBWAY® Super Series in Kamloops, BC on Wednesday, November 17th.

The 19-year-old from Allan, SK, is playing his fourth year with the Spokane Chiefs and was a member of Team Canada at the 2010 World Junior Championships.  Cowen, who was selected in the 1st round – 9th overall by the Ottawa Senators at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, is representing Team WHL for the third straight season and is in his second season of wearing the captain’s ‘C’ for the Chiefs.

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