Stuck In a State of Hockey Malaise

Yesterday afternoon I received the following email from Senators Lost Cojones:

Sorry Graeme, but I don’t think I’ll get a post up tonight.  I’ve been trying for the last four hours and everything I had written has been shit cubed (watching us choke up yet another game while trying to write didn’t help much).  I’m finding it increasingly difficult to give a flying fuck about the bag of fail that is this year’s Ottawa Senators.  So I’ll think about it some more and try again tomorrow.  I’ll call it a Special Monday Edition and blame it on the matinee.  Who knows, I might manage to work myself up into a decent ranty-rant by then.


Just when you think that things can’t get any worse, this season’s version of the Ottawa Senators takes their magnitude of sucking to a whole new level. I may have grown accustomed to the ease and rate in which they manage to piss away third period leads but I never expected for them to suck the inspiration out of a writer who prides himself on being able to drop vitriolic verbal excrement at the doorstep of 1000 Palladium Drive.

Admittedly, it’s pretty difficult to get worked up about this team right now. With a 2-6-2 record in their past 10 games, the only thing that mirrors the number of third period collapses that this team has had are the number of quote from players who insist that they haven’t quit on Cory Clouston.

“If you look at the gameplan, we’re all on the same page. We all know what to do. We just haven’t been executing. You look at some of the chances we’ve had when other teams are making mistakes, and we’re not capitalizing. To pin that on coaching, I don’t think is very fair.” ~ Chris Phillips via Bruce Garrioch ( The Ottawa Sun)

It may not be fair but that hasn’t stopped many outside and local media members from calling for Cory Clouston’s head – a proposition that wouldn’t sound nearly as ridiculous if the playoffs weren’t already out of the question. I never want to give too much credit to Steve Simmons but it’s pretty transparent that if Bryan Murray wanted to axe Clouston and give his team a spark, he no longer has the autonomy to fire the head coach unless he’s accompanying Clouston out that door.

So as the losses mount faster than the paperwork inside Pascal Leclaire’s medical file, we have been caught in this frustratingly vicious cycle:

  • The players are performing like the trade talk and rumours have affected them.
  • Murray cannot fire Clouston because he’s already gone through too many coaches as is and the season is forlorn.
  • Melnyk cannot fire Murray because it’s the midseason and it is highly improbable that another organization would allow the Senators to hire one of their executives for a vacant GM job. Forget about credible Assistant GMs like Fenton or Billington, they won’t be available until the season is over. (Note: And forget about Assistant GM Tim Murray getting the interim GM tag. Maybe if he was not related to Bryan, Clouston and Bryan would have been turfed by now. Bue he is and as such, it’d be a public relations disaster. He would viewed as an extension of the status quo that the fans will no longer tolerate.)
  • All that we can do as fans is sit tight and cross our fingers that the Murray regime can make the right deals by the conclusion of the NHL trade deadline. 

Until the other shoe drops and players are moved out of town, we’re stuck in this hockey purgatory. Fortunately, there’s a trade deadline countdown clock over at that lets us know when something might actually happen in this town. Just 42 more days…