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learning from Ottawa's mistakes -almost 10 years of futility

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05-11-2008, 09:57 AM
  #51
mcphee
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Am I the only one who thinks Cunneyworth is a mildly pornographic name ?

I always picked for Ottawa in the post season, well, the last 10 years or so as my team hasn't been as strong. Watching this year, as things seemed to unravel, I'm getting reminded of of the late 70's early 80's Expos. There was never a doubt that their time would come, until move after move didn't work, Gary Carter left and all of a sudden that team had gone.

Ottawa always had the feeling that, ok, just a bit of tinkering and next year will be different. Last year's finals shocked me. I thought they'd solved everything. Then in the finals, their absolute refusal to adjust or find a different way to win, sunk them.

It's hard to say if the departure of guys like Redden while the core remains the #1 line, will be enough.

To be honest, at a point this year, a Sens fan came here with a touch of arrogance, explaining to us lowly Habs fans, that making the po's was a goal for the CH, but nothing to them as they're above that type of thing. Letting a poster annoy me is stupid, I know, but I remebered that as the season wound down.

I'm not sure there's a lesson to be learned, the Sens built the right way, made easier by their expansion circumstances, and having high draft pick guys to trade to Milbury, so I'm not sure why the last step wasn't taken. Lack of urgency maybe ?

I don't know if things are going downhill from here, if the core needs to be adressed. Maybe the goalie sitaution is a good point. How often do you see a tremendous defense on an NFL team, go out and acquire a marginal QB, saying we just don't want him to lose it for us. That worked once I believe ?

Philly and Ottawa are 2 good franchises that suffered because they just didn't get the goaltending on some good teams.

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05-11-2008, 10:20 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by mcphee View Post
Am I the only one who thinks Cunneyworth is a mildly pornographic name ?

I always picked for Ottawa in the post season, well, the last 10 years or so as my team hasn't been as strong. Watching this year, as things seemed to unravel, I'm getting reminded of of the late 70's early 80's Expos. There was never a doubt that their time would come, until move after move didn't work, Gary Carter left and all of a sudden that team had gone.

Ottawa always had the feeling that, ok, just a bit of tinkering and next year will be different. Last year's finals shocked me. I thought they'd solved everything. Then in the finals, their absolute refusal to adjust or find a different way to win, sunk them.

It's hard to say if the departure of guys like Redden while the core remains the #1 line, will be enough.

To be honest, at a point this year, a Sens fan came here with a touch of arrogance, explaining to us lowly Habs fans, that making the po's was a goal for the CH, but nothing to them as they're above that type of thing. Letting a poster annoy me is stupid, I know, but I remebered that as the season wound down.

I'm not sure there's a lesson to be learned, the Sens built the right way, made easier by their expansion circumstances, and having high draft pick guys to trade to Milbury, so I'm not sure why the last step wasn't taken. Lack of urgency maybe ?

I don't know if things are going downhill from here, if the core needs to be adressed. Maybe the goalie sitaution is a good point. How often do you see a tremendous defense on an NFL team, go out and acquire a marginal QB, saying we just don't want him to lose it for us. That worked once I believe ?

Philly and Ottawa are 2 good franchises that suffered because they just didn't get the goaltending on some good teams.
Slow morning MCPhee? Lot's of posting on this Mother's Day. I also know better and get out of the way.

On to the greater point. I think teams are built and have a window of opportunity to win. As long as you keep progressing, you maintain the core and keep adding and subtracting parts. But as you go through this process you need to address your greatest weakness. Ottawa has never done this, and have always had subpar performances in the playoffs because of goaltending. All the years that the Sens lost to the Leafs, goaltending was always the difference. You don't need a franchise goalie necessarily, but you need a stabilizing force, someone who will not lose you series.

Meantime they lost some important parts, core people, in the effort to get better. With all the players they moved, Hossa-Chara-Havlat to name a few, they now find themselves in a down cycle with nothing to show for it.

As for the correlation to the Habs, Price does become the center piece for this franchise. He doesn't need to "steal" series, just make the saves he needs to make. I think he is that missing piece. All the comparisons with other young goalies are not pertinent. Price's pedigree and previous accomplishments speak volumes.

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05-11-2008, 10:25 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Habnot View Post
Meantime they lost some important parts, core people, in the effort to get better. With all the players they moved, Hossa-Chara-Havlat to name a few, they now find themselves in a down cycle with nothing to show for it.
In the cap era, Ottawa couldn't afford Chara and Havlat on top of the rest of the team and the trade for Heatley benefited both teams, without that top line, our shot at the cup wouldn't have existed last year.

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05-11-2008, 10:49 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Poignant Discussion View Post
It's way beyond that I think, I just hate the way they do things. Calling out players in the media, making a different excuse with every failure (that usually is calling out a certain player), The Hossa sitiuation in particular was low class, the way they exposed Redden not lifting his no trade was no class, the way they run capital tickets is no class.

Then these geniuses look at the Tampa model and do the exact same thing overpaying Spezza and Heatley. The best goalie this team has ever had was Lalime and he was made the scrapegoat when players like Alfreddson and Havlat were just trash when they played the Leafs inn the playoffs and they are doing the exact same thing now with Emery . Now there is a division in the dressing room sponsered by the "captain"

They fire a GM who made it to the SCF's and replaced him with Bryan fricking Murray winner of nothing and what happens....thats right they barely make the playoffs and get swept. This team will be a lottery team next year, didn't even sell out either of thier playoff games and will have a hit on season tickets of about 2-3 thousand because of the way they forced fans to buy season tickets this year to get a ticket to the Stanley Cup finals.

I feel for Sens fans because this city will not support a losing team as the playoffs showed and it's not going to be easy to improve when you have huge expensive contracts hindering you.

They need to get rid of the cancers on the team (Redden, Alfredson and Emery) and start getting good character players...something they have lacked the whole time.

Montreal has a good young team with a great General Manager, I can't see them falling in the same trap as the Senators because the fans will not allow it
It is pretty hilarious that a Leaf fan would start preaching about class but what I really want to know is what we should do with Emery? In one sentence you are saying that we are scapegoating him and in another you are calling him a cancer, which is it? Please tell us quickly - the future of our franchise depends on it.

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05-11-2008, 10:57 AM
  #55
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Originally Posted by JimmyPage View Post
==
I just ignored the post, you should too, he obviously knows nothing about hockey, and it's not just because I'm a Sens fan.

Quick example - Big 3 in Tampa were not the problem, spending as little as possible, trading away all their other good players and having them as the only 3 capable forwards is what screwed them.

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05-11-2008, 11:07 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by SilverLine View Post
I just ignored the post, you should too, he obviously knows nothing about hockey, and it's not just because I'm a Sens fan.

Quick example - Big 3 in Tampa were not the problem, spending as little as possible, trading away all their other good players and having them as the only 3 capable forwards is what screwed them.
It's not a coincedence that once Khabibulin left they couldn't do a damn thing. Getting rid of their goalie was what hurt them the most since they still have not found a competent #1, even when trading Richards.

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05-11-2008, 11:12 AM
  #57
Lord Horse
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Originally Posted by SilverLine View Post
Emery was never a hot in the playoffs, the team in front of him was.

Cam Ward would be my example, he's a good goaltender, but nothing special. He got hot in the playoffs and took his team to the Cup. Roloson would be another example, nothing special in the regular season, but he stole the show and took his team to game 7 of the SCF
Wow, just wow.

Cam Ward >>>>>>>>>> Ray Emery.

A goaltender's skills are at least 50% mental.

Like everyone, at every position, including coaches, it's the people who can raise their level of performance that much higher who win Stanley Cups. When you look at Ottawa's goaltending history, only Hasek comes to mind as that type of player, and barely.

If you want to know what "lessons" to take from the Sens' futility:

1. You build a team from the goaltender out (that's an oldie but a goodie.) Teams always screw this up..... dumb!

2. You draft leaders, not just for skill but for leadership. Leaders raise their game and answer the call (see Koivu, Saku) instead of arrogantly expecting their own talent to do all the work (see Spezza, Jason).

2b. You can't have too many chiefs - there must be braves willing to step up and win as well WITHOUT expecting all the glory. I'll contend that the Sens' dressing room hasn't been unified since the lockout and maybe before. The only player from their top 3 worth following is Alfredsson, who's been great for 2 playoffs. Heatley & Spezza need to learn to raise their game without the incentive of being crowned kings of the team. Look at the approaches taken by Ribeiro in Montreal and then Kovalev after him. One had to be shipped out, one has come around. Which leads to...........

3. The young players must have appropriate mentors who teach winning. It's great when you get loads of high draft picks and harvest yourself some top talent. But these youngsters need leaders who have won in the past in order to teach them winning. There's no substitute for playoff experience, but highly-skilled veterans who have WON THE CUP are probably the best teachers for highly-skilled rookies. Both in how to mature on and off the ice. I've always thought that a player's skill level determines who they listen to, and take to heart, more than people let on. Sure a guy like Steve Begin is a leader, a real warrior - but if I'm Andrei Kostitsyn am I going to learn how to maximize my skills from Capt. Stone Hands? Not bloody likely. A kid like that needs a guy like Kovalev to look up to.

There are exceptions for legendary talents, before the smart-arse brigade chimes in on Sakic & Forsberg. I'm talking about MOST skill players, great assets but not your Gretzkys or Crosbys. And Crosby had Big Mario to show him the ropes anyhow.

Did Ottawa ever bring in anyone who fit the bill for this item? I can't recall anyone.


4. It goes without saying that once the coach loses the club, forget the season.

I'll add one more, which is only my conjecture, but it's an Ottawa lesson in some ways. We'll see how the Pens deal with it:

5. You must learn when to turn over your best players. This is the #1 HARDEST thing to do and GMs make this mistake all the time. Every GM falls prey to this rule, the best GMs less so. At the dawn of the cap era as we are, there are teams who have insisted on keeping their cachet of star players regardless of the impact on the depth of their club.

5b. You cannot always wait for the perfect replacement! Sometimes it's better to take the hit, get yourself some nice picks and youngsters for your star and work for the future.

6. Winning builds chemistry. If it doesn't, ship out the jerks immediately. This is an Ottawa special. A team that has won together so much ought to be tighter than a virgin's cookie. But clearly that is not the case... Ray Emery is a scapegoat for a much larger problem. We look back on some of Gainey's moves and "shakehead" but he's done a fine job making sure the dressing room is free of elements who want to pull in their own direction rather than the team's.


For the Habs, #3 (appropriate leaders) and #5 (smart turnover) are going to be the biggest sources of concern going forward. I see Kovalev as a good mentor for the young Bels, and Koivu can teach a thing or two about toughness and skill, but on defense??? What is Markov gonna teach? I always thought we needed a leader on D who could teach the young guys (Brisebois maybe? Arg.) Getting Hamrlik helps, but still not enough IMO.

As for smart turnover, well time will tell. It's the hardest thing to get right since circumstances around the league and with contracts / trades / standings / ownership always helping to cloud the hockey side of the issue.

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Old
05-11-2008, 11:14 AM
  #58
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Originally Posted by le_sean View Post
It's not a coincedence that once Khabibulin left they couldn't do a damn thing. Getting rid of their goalie was what hurt them the most since they still have not found a competent #1, even when trading Richards.
Khabibulin got a big contract, Tampa didn't match it. The failures can't be put solely on goaltending, the big 3 were the only ones scoring.

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05-11-2008, 11:15 AM
  #59
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Originally Posted by bwoar View Post
Wow, just wow.
Not even going to read this because I never said Cam Ward = Ray Emery.

Ray Emery had a much better team in front of him and he was average at best.

Cam Ward is a good goaltender but he's not a star.

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05-11-2008, 11:19 AM
  #60
le_sean
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Originally Posted by SilverLine View Post
Khabibulin got a big contract, Tampa didn't match it. The failures can't be put solely on goaltending, the big 3 were the only ones scoring.
I agree it's not solely goaltending. But the loss of Khabibulin hurts much more than the loss of Fedotenko or Modin.

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05-11-2008, 11:48 AM
  #61
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Originally Posted by SilverLine View Post
I just ignored the post, you should too, he obviously knows nothing about hockey, and it's not just because I'm a Sens fan.

Quick example - Big 3 in Tampa were not the problem, spending as little as possible, trading away all their other good players and having them as the only 3 capable forwards is what screwed them.
Yeah, you're right - I normally ignore stuff like that if it's on your own board but I get tribal when someone goes to another board to trash a separate team. Good advice nonetheless

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05-11-2008, 12:50 PM
  #62
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This is the "Oh, yeah, well TAKE THIS!" thread.

This is a pictorial representation of HFBoards.

Nice picture. I also like this picture:


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05-12-2008, 12:19 PM
  #63
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this has become troll and flame central...

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