Sunday, April 25, 2010

No Shame

After the Senators lost last night and their season came to an end, I listened to the Team 1200 Post Mortem with JR for a while. There was the usual questioning of earlier trades, and the use of the goaltenders over the run of the season and all the usual “what ifs”.

The overwhelming sense I got from the fans while listening on the web from my hotel room in Boston was that they were disappointed “for” the team and not disappointed “in” them. Two very small words which make a very big difference. Years ago after the 4 game sweep at the hands of the Leafs fans were disappointed in that team. The compete level, the emotion level, the courage, in fact everything was questioned.

Losing to the defending champs in 6 games, 2 of which went to overtime, is no shame. Especially considering Ottawa was missing one veteran top-4 defenceman (Kuba), two top-6 forwards (Kovalev, Michalek) and the captain played the entire series with a torn abdominal muscle with a rookie defenceman logging the most minutes in the series.

Their compete level was high. The emotion level was high. The resolve to beat the odds was high. Their grit level was high and for all those reasons there is no shame in this loss.

Now more than ever I believe these players became a much better team the day Heatley was traded. They swapped a me for a we and traded goals for character and this team had plenty of that against Pittsburgh.

See you at the rink.


Trellick Tower said...

They had some moments to be proud of, but in the end they tried to sit on a 3-goal lead and got caught. Nothing to be proud there, and their character disappeared when the stakes were highest.

Pierre said...

Dean, I've had some time to think about this and in my opinion, this team is a little TOO close-knit and comfortable. I know you'll call me a doofus and stupid and that's fine, but hear me out please.

In 2006 we had Hasek and we arguable had our best chance to win it all. Then the players decided they didn't want Hasek back and they did, in fact, get to the Finals on some strong puck-moving defense, a weak Eastern field and a determined Alfredsson.

Then the Heatley saga...he likely did have to go.

You said this is a "great TEAM", Mr. Garrioch called the trades for Sutton some of the best in Senators history.

My contention, if you're still reading, is that this team has desperately needed a jerk, a complete asshole that will shake things up and be that guy that breaks things open on the ice and shakes the locker room of its complacency.

At this point, these guys have become all too comfortable. Put in your 82 games and your round or two of playoffs..."Hey 'lips, when are we meeting for the barbecue? Hey Alfie, poker at your house Sunday?"

It's like a family. Everyone likes each other and everyone is a great guy but does anyone step in and say that maybe you need to step up, maybe you're not getting it done, maybe you need to pull it together or you're out of town?

Maybe this team needs a little shake up Dean. Nothing 'major' but maybe a Kelly or longtime Senator gets moved over the summer to signal that's time to wake up and realize that time is running out on this team's Cup window (if it hasn't already) and maybe some new leadership, some new young players need to be brought it to challenge the older guys.

Because right now, I see a team full of guys that know their jobs are safe and that have the fan's adulation and really don't need to worry about winning. Melnyk and Murray's immense patience and at time blind spots aren't helping.