I’m wondering why Habs fans felt the need to be so disrespectful and tacky when playing the Senators in Ottawa last night.
The loud booing by the considerable number of Habs fans every time Senator’s superstar Tim Stutzle touched the puck was annoying and disrespectful. The booing was a result of Habs’ Brendan Gallagher’s comments after the last time the two teams met. Basically, Gallagher alleged that Stutzle fakes injuries to draw penalties. Ironically, I saw a statistic today that showed Gallagher and Stutzle have the same number of diving/embellishment penalties, meaning Gallagher’s criticism is the pot calling the kettle black, so to speak.
The penalty in question was a dirty, potentially career-ending knee-on-knee hit delivered by Nick Suzuki. Stutzle did lie on the ice after the hit but recovered sufficiently to continue his shift. He did miss two subsequent games due to the injury though. Who remembers way back at the beginning of Sidney Crosby’s illustrious NHL career when Don Cherry ragged on Crosby for his “turtle” reaction that drew penalties? I do, I bet Crosby does too. He appeared to learn from that criticism; perhaps Stutzle will learn something from Gallagher’s comment and the booing fans. Stutzle’s obvious talent will draw enough hits from frustrated opposing players, he does not want to encourage more.
Ottawa began last night’s game with a touching (and yes, respectful) tribute to the late Guy Lafleur, a hockey legend that led Montreal to most of their Stanley cups. Lafleur never played for the Ottawa Senators, the gesture was to show respect for a Habs hero. To top it off, Senators goalie Anton Forsberg stopped 44 shots on net last night to lead his team to a (nother) win against Montreal.
Back to the previous game…Suzuki apologized for the hit the next time he met Stutzle in the faceoff circle. Well before Gallagher’s rant and the Senator’s victory.
Now that’s classy on Suzuki’s part.
Habs fans could learn something from both examples of respect and sportsmanship. And lose the tackiness.
The owner’s commitment to winning (or lack of) says it all. Another top player is leaving the Ottawa Senators; it was just announced minutes ago that Mark Stone was traded to the Las Vegas Knights. Stone is the third player within the last week to announce they are leaving, with Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel the two other Senator stars we would have preferred to hold onto. After all, these three players rack up the majority of the team’s points.
The (most telling) reason for Stone’s decision was the “owner’s commitment to winning” in Vegas. Without mentioning Ottawa Senator’s owner Eugene Melynk by name, Stone implied that personal relationships (or lack thereof) make the difference in the locker room and on the ice.
As well as the top three performers on the ice this season, the Senators traded Erik Karlson and Mike Hoffman recently as well. All Sens fans suspected that the Senators owner’s commitment to winning was obviously absent. These last few trades made it painfully obvious. If the owner is not willing or not able to finance these top players, why not sell the team?
I cannot wrap my head around trading an excellent player for a possible draft pick. Take Erik Karlsson for example. Opinion within the hockey world is that Karlsson is the best defenceman in the league. So, trade him to get a draft pick for someone that may be as good, someday? Sounds counterproductive to me, even for a team in “rebuild” mode. Giving away your top five players leaves your team pretty depleted.
Senator fans are quickly losing faith in their team. And what about the (predominantly) rookies and few veterans left as the dust settles? They must be absolutely deflated and discouraged with the changes.
I can picture the Senators players currently left in the dressing room, all wondering if they are back in the minor league.
The Ottawa Senators beat the Las Vegas Knights to serve them their third three-loss streak last night in a flurry of goals that did not make either goaltender look especially strong. Sens number 44, JG Pageau scored a one-timer from the blue line, not a common occurrence for him. JG also won the last few crucial face-offs of the game in their own end when the Senators were struggling to stay up a goal.
I for one am glad Pageau is still with the Senators as his work ethic is so strong. He always puts 110% into a game, something that cannot be said for many NHL players. His short-handed and faceoff prowess round out his skill set, not to mention he has been known to score some goals.
Erik Karlsson’s three assists in the game, including one where Burrows redirected one of his shots for the winning goal, were painful reminders (for Vegas fans) of why the Vegas expansion team (and many others) were so keen on acquiring Karlsson before the recent trade deadline. Most Senator fans however are very happy Karlsson is still our captain.
Another name tossed around in the recent trade rumors racking up multiple points was Bobby Ryan. With a break-away goal (set up by a beautiful pass from Mark Stone) and two assists, Ryan also showed how he might be able to help the Senators (despite a massive contract) moving forward. If he can stay healthy.
Players not mentioned as possibilities in the trades included Mark Stone and Matt Duchene. Both had great games. Stone contributed the first goal and hit Ryan up for a perfect pass and goal. He also contributed with multiple takeaways, stealing the puck from Vegas players, frustrating both the players and their coach. Matt Duchene’s goal added to his impressive (and much appreciated) tally of points he has accumulated since his arrival in Ottawa. He also appears to be a penalty magnet (drawer) as opposing players try desperately to take him off his game.