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SENS at Islanders, Nov. 29th / 2008

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Old
11-30-2008, 02:06 AM
  #526
Zillaege
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I don't understand why we insist on keeping Phillips and Volchenkov together. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they're playing awful or think they're bad players in the least, but the last thing this team needs right now is a shut down pair. Two years ago it worked fine because we had Redden-Meszaros and Corvo-Preissing pairings, two pairings who were serious offensive threats, and so 2/3 of the time we had excellent puck moving and offense on the ice. Now our third pairing is bell-smith, and while bell has provided adequate puck moving for a third pairing, he's no 40 point defenseman and isn't a very serious threat. We'd be better off i think if we mixed up our top 4, I'd go Kuba-Volchenkov and Picard-Phillips but either way would work. At least we'd then have at least some offensive weapons from the back end on the ice at all times.

The Markov-Komisarek and Gonchar-Orpik pairings are great examples of this, it allows your offensive guys to be offensive guys cause they know they have a rock backing them up, and lets your defensive players focus on just playing defense instead of trying to create offense and just turning the puck over. Phillips is having a hell of a time right now I think cause he knows this team lacks offense from the back end and he's trying to do too much. And Kuba has slowed down somewhat since he's been moved away from Smith and now he has to cover for a young Picard. It's obviously not in an ideal situation, but I think this team can be very successful if they can be an excellent defensive team, they just need to improve their offense from awful to mediocre.

Edit: And another thing i forgot to mention, for all those getting on spezza's case for his lack of production, the guys a playmaker, he needs people to pass to. He does have a lot of good tools, he has good hands, a very underrated shot, and good size, but he's never been a player to dominate games all on his own. He's just not the kind of player to make end to end rushes, completely take over games with individual skill. You give him 3 weapons to choose from on the ice at the same time though, and he'll tear defenses apart. By far his biggest skills are his incredible vision and passing abilities. His playmaking creativity is completely negated though when his only option on the ice is Dany Heatley. At least by having Alfie on his line the past few games instead of a struggling vermette he has 2 options and his play his improved a little, but he still needs more options to be successful. I think he's done an admirable job so far to try and adjust his game, dumping it in more often, coming back more and helping out more defensively, he's being an excellent team player at the moment. I really don't think spezza's struggling because of a lack of effort or anything, he just needs more options out there.


Last edited by Zillaege: 11-30-2008 at 02:21 AM.
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11-30-2008, 03:25 AM
  #527
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Wow, I just realized that Ottawa has ONE regulation win for the entire month of November.

Is this acceptable? I'd really like to know since we have a new coach, so many new players and all that bad luck and stuff. Really, is this acceptable? Is everything going along according to plan?

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11-30-2008, 03:26 AM
  #528
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LMFAO I just saw the first post, this was a wonderful game day thread freakin please continue

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11-30-2008, 03:28 AM
  #529
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Originally Posted by Suiteness View Post
Wow, I just realized that Ottawa has ONE regulation win for the entire month of November.

Is this acceptable? I'd really like to know since we have a new coach, so many new players and all that bad luck and stuff. Really, is this acceptable? Is everything going along according to plan?
2. Flyers and Rangers.

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11-30-2008, 03:33 AM
  #530
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2. Flyers and Rangers.
Yup, you are correct. It's been so long I had forgotten about that one.

Still, is this acceptable, should we be satisfied with these results?

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11-30-2008, 07:01 AM
  #531
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Originally Posted by Suiteness View Post
Still, is this acceptable, should we be satisfied with these results?
Yes, these are exactly the results we were looking for.

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11-30-2008, 07:18 AM
  #532
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I still stand by the fact that we need a GAMEBREAKING puck mover AND we need Phillips and Volch to start playing some DEFENSE!!!
What do you consider "gamebreaking"? A defenseman who can put up points? You do realize, I hope, that they don't grow on trees? Okay I think SilverCup has a few in her basement but good luck prying them loose. We could have signed Brian Campbell in the offseason. He has 4G 13A this season. Phaneuf is a gamebreaking (and playerbreaking) defenseman, right? 3G 13A. Our very own Kuba has 1G 15A.

I agree with PeterSidorkiewicz's excellent analysis: the problem isn't moving the puck, it's finishing.

The Senators used to have incredible success using an aggressive defense to force turnovers and counterattack with blazing speed and crisp passing. Turnover, pass, pass, score. That's long gone now. Maybe it's the speed issue. The Sens have gotten slow, and in today's NHL that's a recipe for failure.

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11-30-2008, 08:31 AM
  #533
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Originally Posted by Suiteness View Post
Wow, I just realized that Ottawa has ONE regulation win for the entire month of November.

Is this acceptable? I'd really like to know since we have a new coach, so many new players and all that bad luck and stuff. Really, is this acceptable? Is everything going along according to plan?
Keep in mind they have picked up atleast a point in 5 of the last 7 games.Is it perfect now could it be worse yes.

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11-30-2008, 08:49 AM
  #534
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I have a feeling we will be like this all season. Win a few lose a few. I am slowly trying to get used to it...
Me too. A mid-season hot streak is not out of the realm of possibility, but this team is going to have to fight for every point here on through. I've gotten used to losing, they've done it so much over the past calendar year... it's going on a two game winning streak, than coming to a dead halt the next game that I still let bother me.

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11-30-2008, 11:53 AM
  #535
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Originally Posted by Zillaege View Post
I don't understand why we insist on keeping Phillips and Volchenkov together. Don't get me wrong, I don't think they're playing awful or think they're bad players in the least, but the last thing this team needs right now is a shut down pair. Two years ago it worked fine because we had Redden-Meszaros and Corvo-Preissing pairings, two pairings who were serious offensive threats, and so 2/3 of the time we had excellent puck moving and offense on the ice. Now our third pairing is bell-smith, and while bell has provided adequate puck moving for a third pairing, he's no 40 point defenseman and isn't a very serious threat. We'd be better off i think if we mixed up our top 4, I'd go Kuba-Volchenkov and Picard-Phillips but either way would work. At least we'd then have at least some offensive weapons from the back end on the ice at all times.

The Markov-Komisarek and Gonchar-Orpik pairings are great examples of this, it allows your offensive guys to be offensive guys cause they know they have a rock backing them up, and lets your defensive players focus on just playing defense instead of trying to create offense and just turning the puck over. Phillips is having a hell of a time right now I think cause he knows this team lacks offense from the back end and he's trying to do too much. And Kuba has slowed down somewhat since he's been moved away from Smith and now he has to cover for a young Picard. It's obviously not in an ideal situation, but I think this team can be very successful if they can be an excellent defensive team, they just need to improve their offense from awful to mediocre.

Edit: And another thing i forgot to mention, for all those getting on spezza's case for his lack of production, the guys a playmaker, he needs people to pass to. He does have a lot of good tools, he has good hands, a very underrated shot, and good size, but he's never been a player to dominate games all on his own. He's just not the kind of player to make end to end rushes, completely take over games with individual skill. You give him 3 weapons to choose from on the ice at the same time though, and he'll tear defenses apart. By far his biggest skills are his incredible vision and passing abilities. His playmaking creativity is completely negated though when his only option on the ice is Dany Heatley. At least by having Alfie on his line the past few games instead of a struggling vermette he has 2 options and his play his improved a little, but he still needs more options to be successful. I think he's done an admirable job so far to try and adjust his game, dumping it in more often, coming back more and helping out more defensively, he's being an excellent team player at the moment. I really don't think spezza's struggling because of a lack of effort or anything, he just needs more options out there.
This is an excellent post and a good example of what this board use to be.

I agree with your sentiment that the Philchenkov experiment might be out of date. At the same time I do like the way Picard has been playing lately and apparently he personally attributes most of it to playing with Kuba. I would be affraid of the lack of speed from a Volchenkov-Smith tandem and I would not want to see Smith playing the 22 mins Phillips does if we paired them together.

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11-30-2008, 01:02 PM
  #536
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Originally Posted by Senateurs View Post
This is an excellent post and a good example of what this board use to be.

I agree with your sentiment that the Philchenkov experiment might be out of date. At the same time I do like the way Picard has been playing lately and apparently he personally attributes most of it to playing with Kuba. I would be affraid of the lack of speed from a Volchenkov-Smith tandem and I would not want to see Smith playing the 22 mins Phillips does if we paired them together.
Phillips seems to have a way with bringing the best out of young defencemen he's put with, Volchenkov took off once he was paired with Phillips, and now i'd argue he's become a better player than Phillips is, and over the past couple of years I recall Meszaros playing his best hockey when he was with Phillips and even Schubert had a stretch last year where he looked like he could handle top 4 duty when he was paired with Phillips. Thats why I think Picard would be fine if he were to be paired with Phillips. As far as a Volchenkov-Smith tandem, i think that would just cause the same problems we already have, you're putting 2 defensive guys together on a team starved for offence and so they try and do too much. That and Smith at this point in his career can't handle a top 4 role I think, but he's perfect for being the defensive concience (sp?) on the bottom pairing. I consider Volchenkov and Kuba to be our best 2 defenseman though, and I'm really interested to see how that pairing would work.

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11-30-2008, 04:15 PM
  #537
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Originally Posted by Indrew View Post
Me too. A mid-season hot streak is not out of the realm of possibility, but this team is going to have to fight for every point here on through. I've gotten used to losing, they've done it so much over the past calendar year... it's going on a two game winning streak, than coming to a dead halt the next game that I still let bother me.
I think it's gonna be like this for a little while as well, at least until they really come to the realization that we've all come to - that hard work is the only thing that's going to get us into the playoffs and beyond. As Hossa mentioned earlier, you could add one or two players to the roster, and it won't change the fact that the majority of the team isn't playing hard for 60 minutes consistently.

Now, once we reach that point, I'm more optimistic of what we can do than alot of fans. The frustrating thing is that as soon as they string together a few wins by outworking their opponents, they lose that hunger and work that got them there in the first place. I'm not sure what causes that or what could possibly fix it. It's a possibility that they get too comfortable when they start winning and sit back, but there's no clear solution for that. The only thing Hartsburg can really do is play the line that's playing hard, but there have been times this season where only one of our lines has done that, so that's not as easy as people might think.

People can blame it on a country club attitude or whatever they want, but that's just another excuse. I'm optimistic that we can do well this season, make the playoffs and then maybe do some damage once there. But I also know that won't happen until we can see consistent efforts every night from all 19 players that are currently on the team. Trading for the sake of trading or to get a puck moving defenceman won't cure this team's woes, IMO.

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11-30-2008, 04:58 PM
  #538
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Originally Posted by Zillaege View Post
Phillips seems to have a way with bringing the best out of young defencemen he's put with, Volchenkov took off once he was paired with Phillips, and now i'd argue he's become a better player than Phillips is, and over the past couple of years I recall Meszaros playing his best hockey when he was with Phillips and even Schubert had a stretch last year where he looked like he could handle top 4 duty when he was paired with Phillips. Thats why I think Picard would be fine if he were to be paired with Phillips. As far as a Volchenkov-Smith tandem, i think that would just cause the same problems we already have, you're putting 2 defensive guys together on a team starved for offence and so they try and do too much. That and Smith at this point in his career can't handle a top 4 role I think, but he's perfect for being the defensive concience (sp?) on the bottom pairing. I consider Volchenkov and Kuba to be our best 2 defenseman though, and I'm really interested to see how that pairing would work.
That's a good point. So we would keep the Bell-Smith pairing as our third but swith ther two other so we could have offense and defense on our two top pair. I like it.

It also reminds me about last year when all we were pairing our two most offensive defensmen together (Redden and Meszaros) and put our two slowest guys together (Richardson and Commodore). I could not understand why we kept playing those combo together when it was IMO logical to put a stay-at-home with a more offensively gifted defensmen. In the end, we had one safe pair (Philchenkov), one pair who could not stop a cycle and always getting caught pinching (Red-Mesz) and one pair unable of moving the puck out of the zone or supporting an offensive rush (Rich-Commo).

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11-30-2008, 06:05 PM
  #539
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They did it all last game when the Sens were last there as well. I don't really watch Islanders games so it's perhaps something they've picked up at home games for some very strange reason. Maybe hoping to emulate Habs fans ... God knows why.
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11-30-2008, 08:41 PM
  #540
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Originally Posted by Senateurs View Post
This is an excellent post and a good example of what this board use to be.

I agree with your sentiment that the Philchenkov experiment might be out of date. At the same time I do like the way Picard has been playing lately and apparently he personally attributes most of it to playing with Kuba. I would be affraid of the lack of speed from a Volchenkov-Smith tandem and I would not want to see Smith playing the 22 mins Phillips does if we paired them together.

I agree. Picard has been playing better lately but he often gets bailed out of tough situations by being with Kuba. Picard's passes come in a little hot at times and I would be a little worried about having Phillips receiving one of those deep in his zone with the forecheck coming hard. Kuba seems to be able to handle it by moving the puck along quickly.
On the other hand i'd like to see what the breakout would look like with a guy who can pass decently on every pairing.

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11-30-2008, 10:26 PM
  #541
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I'm still not worried. The team is playing better now than they had a few months ago. I said last month that December will decide what kind of team we are this season....I'm sticking to that idea. We're starting to play better now than we were at the beginning of the year, and we aren't the only team in thel eague not playing a full 60 minutes.

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12-01-2008, 12:43 PM
  #542
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Whatever happened before, this team needs like 35-21-4 in the last 60 games. Really not out of the question. Our offensive players got to find their game though... We got to score ugly goals, i don't care how ugly it is, a goal is a goal... We won't score hundreds of highlights reel goals like before

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