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The Sunday Soapbox (Monday Edition): Sunday Matinees Are An Aberration Before The Eyes Of Man And God

Whoever scheduled yesterday’s Caps/Sens match up for 3 o’clock on a Sunday in January deserves to have his dick ripped from his body by a rabid badger and thrown into an industrial juicer.  His now dickless corpse would then be paraded about NHL HQ as a warning to others that such seismic stupidity will be punished, and punished severely.

In my house, Sundays are reserved for one thing and one thing only.  That one thing is FOOTBALL.  The season is a scant seventeen weeks long.  The playoffs add another four.  Everything is over by the beginning of February.  So what does the NHL do?  Does it wait until the NFL season is over to schedule Sunday matinees, thereby capitalizing on the vast pool of suddenly abandoned sports fans staring with fear and loathing into the soulless abyss that is February?  No.  No, it most certainly DOES NOT.

Instead the pointy foreheads inside NHL HQ decide that a Sunday afternoon game in January would be splendid.  And just for shits and giggles, let’s make it the same Sunday as the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs!  OH HELLZ YEAH! WE’RE FAHKIN’ BRILLIANT!  YINZER! 

This, need I remind you ladies and gentlemen, is the very same NHL that continuously prostitutes itself in order to capture that wily and elusive creature known as “the casual American hockey fan”.  The very same NHL that plugs its ears and stomps its feet while yelling LA-LA-LA-LA-I-CAN’T-HEAR-YOU! should anyone have the unmitigated gall to question whether Phoenix is a real hockey market.  The very same NHL that would gladly offer up free Bill Daley handjobs to a leather clad Chris Berman if it meant a return to Mickey’s ESPN.  And its the very same NHL that then drops a game involving one of its oh-so-very-few marquee American teams smack into the middle of the single greatest NFL weekend of the season.  In other words…Pssst…Yur doin’ it wrongs.

So to the guy who tore me away from the end of the Bears/Seahawks (and beginning of Pats/Jets I should add) knowing full well I have a morbidly pathological need to witness every putrid moment of the train wreck that is my Ottawa Senators, I would like to offer a hearty FUCK YOU!  FUCK YOU RIGHT IN THE EAR, HEAD NHL SCHEDULE DUDE!  May your precious spreadsheets and arena availability trackers and gigantic databases and nifty magnets be consumed in the blackest of Hell’s fiery pits.

Coming up: More Fun with Don, Where DO Those Handsome MSMers Come Up With Their Ideas?, Shameless Rumour Mongering, Alfie And The Impending Fire Sale and Yet Another Impassioned Plea To Petey McSplooge: Stay The Fuck Away From My Team You Overrated Gasbag.  Jump for the smashies.

Is there a 12 step program for this kind of thing?

I have to say, I’m becoming a teensy bit concerned for Don Brennan’s mental well being.  While we’ve all become accustomed to our favourite slovenly Sun knuckle typer’s more…idiosyncratic…stylings, his latest obsession with a nineteen year-old boy should well serve to give us pause.  I had hoped that his well deserved public rebuke following this little flight of inebriated fancy would have broken the cycle, but no, here he was again (expertly and delightfully deconstructed by my colleague, Graham, I should mention). 

For those of you who would rather do the smart thing and spend ten minutes punching yourself in the face rather than read anything Don Brennan extrudes, allow me to recap.  A precis, if you will: Pascal Leclaire sucks.  Brian Elliott sucks.  Robin Lehner won his first game over an apocalyptically bad NY Islander team while fighting the puck, letting out crazy ass rebounds and giving up four goals.  Ipso factotum (that’s Latin Don.  I’ll be happy to define it for you in many small words if you need me to) Robin Lehner is our only hope and if The Bryan would only listen to him, fire The Little General, get back behind the bench and start a nineteen year-old rookie the rest of the way, the season will be saved!

I’ll let the inherent dumbass-ness of all of that stand for itself, but Don, if you’re reading this, I’d like to impart a few words you may find of some comfort: IT’S THE DEFENCE STUPID!! 

In the meantime, I’ll try to arrange for an intervention.  It’s okay, buddy.  You’ll be just fine.  Now where the hell is my sixty bucks?

Zeitgeist: It’s a hell of a drug

Exactly fifteen days ago, I wrote this, in which I asked if we, as the Sens Army Collective, would be capable of handling the inevitable pain, suffering and monosyllabic hooting from Leaf Nation that would necessarily follow from a complete 3 to 5 year rebuild of the Sens roster.  Thirteen days later, our favourite Ottawa Sun admirer of pik-a-nik baskets asked very much the same question (you’re smarter than the average Brennan, Boo Boo).  Two days later, the Ottawa Citizen, as is its wont, ran a similar, if much more subtle, opinion piece to the same end.  Now, ordinarily I would simply chalk this up to a coincidence of ideas.  But after reading the words “The Little General” in reference to Coach CiCi in both papers, I’m beginning to wonder…Could it be that someone owes my mother a little basement rent money?

You been Gainey’d, Biotch!

I received an email from a buddy of mine the other day with the subject line “Thought you may find this interesting”.  Therein he exclaimed in breathless tones (or as breathless as one can get using Outlook) that our favourite enigma had been spotted “by a friend” skiing at Mont Tremblant while supposedly recuperating from the latest strain on his reconstructed knee, a recuperation that has kept him out of the last five games.  To which I could only exclaim in my own breathless fashion…”Meh.  Whatever keeps him out of the room”.  In other news, Alex Kovalev can suck a bag of dicks.

I really can’t stress this enough.

For the first five years of the Sens re-existence, I was of the firm belief that Randy Sexton was the worst NHL General Manager in the history of ever.  Even worse than Rick Dudley, and he tried to draft a dead guy.  Every time Sexton polluted my television, he would speak of this nebulous “seven to twelve year plan” to become a Cup contender.  Blah-blah-blah.  Whatevs.  But in 2003, eleven years after the “new” Senators won a grand total of 10 games, there we were in Game 7 of the ECF against New Jersey with arguably the most talented roster this team has ever seen (a young Phillips, A-Train, Chara, Hossa, Havlat, Spezza, Alfie, pre-suck Redden, Fish…it is to weep).  If not for Jeff Fucking Friesen that Cup would have been ours, and I was forced to seriously reconsider my earlier opinion of Randy Sexton and the team he had helped build before being replaced by Pierre Gauthier.

Pierre McGuire is no Randy Sexton.  The man has spent the last twenty years coasting on a one year stint as assistant coach with Mario’s Pittsburgh Penguins, a team a retarded chimp could have coached to a Stanley Cup win.  Is he a gifted evaluator of junior talent?  Maybe.  Who knows.  If screaming into a microphone is enough to qualify somebody as a scout, I’d say hire his ass right now.  But a GM?  Anyone who thinks that’s a good idea needs to seriously reevaluate their hockey insight.  And maybe lay off the meds a little bit.

On the off chance I am being in any way unclear, Pierre McGuire as General Manager of the Ottawa Senators would be a colossally bad idea and may possibly result in my dowsing every article of clothing bearing the condom logo I own in gasoline and setting it alight on The Euge’s desk.  Then I’ll really get crazy.    

WWRBD?

As someone who recently turned *cough*forty*cough* I can certainly sympathize with the growing chorus of Let The Captain Go (butonlyifhewantstoandeventhenonlytoawesternteam) in order to allow Alfie a serious shot at a Cup.  For everything he’s done for the Sens, only to be repaid in shit-tastic fashion (oh, hey, Filip?  ‘Sup?  Meet Jakub Klepis), he deserves nothing less.  I can still sleep soundly at night knowing that he’ll be back in some fashion with the team (how are you with GM-ish responsibilities, Daniel?) and that the fifty bucks my brother-in-law spent on my spanking new #11 Alfredsson knock off jersey (complete with tie-downs!) will never go to waste.  Sleep well, brave viking.  May the spirit of Bourque guide you.

Have a good week everybody.  Go Sens.

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