[ issues | web extra | stats | nhl archive | home | chat | mailing list | about us | search | comments ]
Free Agent List
Back to Issue
Anaheim Mighty Ducks
Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
San Jose Sharks
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning
Toronto Maple Leafs
Free LCS 1997-98
Reader Hockey Pool
head coach: Jacques Martin
roster: C - Alexei Yashin, Radek Bonk, Sergei Zholtok, Shaun Van Allen, Vaclav Prospal. LW - Randy Cunneyworth, Shawn McEachern, Magnus Arvedson, Denny Lambert. RW - Daniel Alfredsson, Pat Falloon, Andreas Dackell, Bruce Gardiner, Chris Murray. D - Lance Pitlick, Chris Phillips, Wade Redden, Stan Neckar, Jason York, Janne Laukkanen, Igor Kravchuk. G - Damian Rhodes, Ron Tugnutt, Fred Cassivi.
injuries: Ron Tugnutt, g (hip flexor, day-to-day); Vaclav Prospal, c (fractured left fibula, 6-8 weeks).
transactions: Bruce Gardiner, c, returned from torn MCL, Jan 31 (missed 21 games). Wade Redden, d, returned from bruised foot, Jan 31 (missed one game). Janne Laukkanen, d, returned from flu, Feb 4 (missed one game). Shaun Van Allen, c, returned from back spasms, Feb 4 (missed one game).
Eastern Conference - Northeast Division Team GP W L T PTS GF GA Pittsburgh 58 29 16 13 71 160 132 Montreal 56 28 21 7 63 168 141 Boston 56 23 22 11 57 140 138 Ottawa 58 23 25 10 56 130 140 Buffalo 55 22 21 12 56 143 138 Carolina 57 21 29 7 49 139 161
1/26 Tampa Bay W 2-1 1/27 at Boston L 6-1 1/29 NY Rangers T 2-2 1/31 at Montreal W 4-3 2/02 New Jersey L 1-0 2/04 at New Jersey L 2-0 2/05 Toronto W 3-2 2/07 Pittsburgh T 2-2
by The Nosebleeders, Ottawa Correspondents
What Do you Have After Algebra?
Gotta give credit to the NHL schedule-maker. Forced to plot out a regular NHL schedule using a shortened calendar due to the Olympics in NaGAno (or NAgano or NagaNO or NaGaNo or Japan), you knew that the days leading up to the Games would be hectic as all...well...heck. Eight games in 12 days is certainly not as bad as some stretches, but it was enough to put the Sens endurance to the test, especially with the February blahs kicking into high gear.
Thankfully, however, five of those eight games would be contested at the OK Corel, while the remaining three were just a hop, skip and jump away in Boston, Montreal and New Jersey.
Fancy Some Early Playoff Prognostications?
All in all, the Senators catch a lucky break with their schedule. In fact, in their remaining 24 games after the Olympics, the Sens play half at home and half on the road, 15 of which are against teams with records below .500. Kick in two weeks of R&R, and you've got to be optimistic of the Sens playoff chances during the stretch run.
And besides...Alex Daigle is gone. Let's all be happy, shall we?!
A Salute to Our Olympians
No real news here, just another chance for us to promote the successes of our beloved Senators. Kudos go out to Daniel Alfredsson (Sweden), Alexei Yashin (Russia), Igor Kravchuk (Russia), Shawn McEachern (U.S.A.) and Janne Laukkanen (Finland) for their selections to their respective nation's roster. A tip of the hat also goes out to Andreas Dackell and Magnus Arvedsson, who are both 'on call' for Team Sweden should anybody go down with injuries prior to the Games.
Rumors du Jour
Fresh off the Daigle deal, trade rumors are still circling around the Corel Centre, as Ottawa looks to unload one or two of its centers. It's no secret that Vaclav Prospal, part of the Daigle deal and a promising young player, is a shoo-in for one of the center spots as soon as he recuperates from a broken leg. Once that happens, you can bet that Sergei Zholtok and Radek Bonk will be left in the cold, possibly alternating seats in the press box, or maybe even sharing a popcorn in the Cheap Seats.
St. Louis has expressed interest, as has Calgary, but chances are GM Pierre Gauthier will not pull the trigger until Prospal heals and shows he can fit in.
Some Free Advice, Pierre
Although there is a moratorium on trades during the Olympic break, that hasn't stopped NHL GMs from shopping their wares at the local flea market. Unfortunately for Ottawa, GM Gauthier is off in Japan, helping Bobby Clarke and Bob Gainey secure a gold medal for the Canadian men's hockey team. With a task like that, you can appreciate how little time he will have rifling over the Sens depth chart looking to bandage any gushing neck wounds.
So, out of the kindness of our hearts, we gladly offer this trade advice to Gauthier...free of charge.
Sandy McCarthy, Calgary Flames. Get him. Now.
McCarthy is a big, mean, tough SOB who can fight with the best of them and even, on occasion, put the puck in the net (hello, Mr. Bonk). He wants out of Calgary - says he isn't respected by management, and is displeased, to say it politely, with his ice-time.
As a Senator, McCarthy could be a whiff of fresh air. Remember the last Senator who could score goals, battle a few bottlenecks and wow the crowd with his intensity and hard work along the boards and in front of the net? Mike Peluso. A fan favorite, if not the most popular Senator in his time. Peluso was one of the few reasons Senator fans showed up night in and night out.
Add McCarthy to the mix, and gone are the days of seeing our star players slapped around like rag dolls. Touch Yashin and you'll have to report to Mr. McCarthy's office - pronto. Gotta love it.
And you certainly cannot argue with the price. Calgary has its hands tied and would take anything from the eighth round up. Heck, throw in Bonk for good measure...
Again, Mr. Gauthier, are you listening? Sandy McCarthy. Do it.
At the time, it seemed like a minor trade, but Sens GM Pierre Gauthier pulled off a steal when he traded for star defenseman Janne Laukkanen. Who did he trade, and to whom? Answer at the end of this column.
Good Way to Cure A Slump
Daniel Alfredsson, struggling with his scoring touch since returning from an ankle injury in mid-January, found the perfect opportunity and the perfect team to break his slump. Alfie scored the tying goal then set up the winner with just 55 seconds left in the game to power the Sens to a 2-1 win over the gawd-awful Tampa Bay Lightning.
Believe it or not, however, Alfie was not chosen as one of the three game stars.
Grasping At Straws...
How bad have the Lightning been this year? Tampa radio guys were overheard at the Bolts-Sens game gushing about how well newly-acquired Bolt Stephane Richer skates backwards. Wow....and as soon as Jason Bonsignore learns to tie his own skates, he'll surely make the top line, right?
Now That's Hockey
The Sens-Rangers game turned out to be one of the most exciting hockey games played here - or anywhere for that matter - in years. End-to-end action, numerous scoring chances, big hits, brilliant saves...everything you'd want in an old-fashioned North American-style hockey game. Are you listening, NHL front office? Huh? HUH??!!
For Richter or Poorer
Simply put, Rangers goalie Mike Richter put on a goaltending clinic, as the Rangers were lucky to escape with a 2-2 tie. The Sens blistered Richter with 41 shots - unheard of in these parts - which Richter turned aside, including highlight reel saves off Pat Falloon and Lance Pitlick.
People talk about how strong Team Canada's goaltending is, but with performances like this, Richter should provide Team USA with equally impressive backstopping.
Maybe Jacques Should Get An Extended Vacation
Hmmm... let's see now. All year the Sens have struggled offensively. Suddenly, with coach Jacques Martin bed-ridden with the flu and assistants Perry Pearn and Craig Ramsay at the controls, Ottawa goes out and puts on their rendition of old time firewagon hockey. No sooner does Martin return, however, and it's back in with the old.
Hmmm... maybe, we should... whoa! Just joshing ya Jacquie-boy, we wouldn't even think of it. Or would we?
But, just in case, should you feel the slightest bit of illness - headaches, toothaches, bad hair day - you go straight to bed and you don't return until you're 100 per cent, okay? Never mind us, we'll manage somehow...
Brodeur Stymies Sens
It's bad enough that Devils' star goalie Martin Brodeur could blank Ottawa for two straight games, but to almost score a goal on them too? Pitiful.
We take you to Game #1 of the home-and-home debacle that was. With 15 seconds left, and Ottawa looking for the equalizer, Brodeur plays the puck behind his net. Looking up ice, he sees Doug Gilmour and whiffs a long pass. Too fast and a bit out of reach for Dougie-boy, the puck slides the entire length of the ice and just misses the empty Sens' net by three feet.
With only five goals in four games up to that point, Brodeur threatened to become one of New Jersey's hottest scorers of late. Luckily for the Devils PR department, it didn't happen. As for Ottawa, could you imagine the shame of being outscored 1-0 over 120 minutes by, of all people, a goalie?
Made It To The Big Time
Worcester IceCats' (AHL) goaltender and Sens' prospect Fred Cassivi was called up prior to the first game against New Jersey after goalie Ron Tugnutt suffered a hip flexor in the Sens 4-3 win over Montreal.
'Fresh off the bus', and looking a little in awe of his sudden predicament, Cassivi almost saw action when Damian Rhodes was belted in the jaw by a Lyle Odelein slapper. But after a few tense moments dealing with the tweety birds circling his head, Rhodes decided to finish out the game.
Is This The Bus To Montreal?
Excuse us for a moment, we're a little disoriented. In their February 5th game vs. Toronto, Ottawa chose to wear their eyesore third jerseys, while Toronto sported their home whites. But no matter how hard we squinted, we still kept thinking we were watching a Leafs-Habs game....in Ottawa right? No, check that. Judging by the number of Leafs sweaters in the stands, we must be in Toronto, right? Or is it Montreal...no, wait that's Ottawa. Okay, so it's Toronto - wearing their home jerseys and supported by a throng of Leafs supporters - on the road to take on Ottawa - who looks like Montreal in their road jerseys - in Ottawa, although Sens fans seemed to be isolated to a small nook in the rafters.
Okay...enough screwing around with the jerseys. Let's get back to basics, shall we?
A Tale of Two Goalies
While Felix Potvin was pulling a Mike Richter on one end - stopping 38 Senator shots - Damian Rhodes, on the other end, was busy taking a beauty sleep, having to face only 12 shots all game.
The Sens' final game before the Olympic break came at home against the hot Pittsburgh Penguins, who finally seem to be buying into coach Kevin Constantine's system.
And although the final 2-2 tie is nothing to bat an eyelash at, it was a positive step forward for the Sens. You see, the last two times Ottawa faced Pittsburgh, they were blanked on the scoresheet - 2-0 on November 20 and 0-0 January 20 - both at the hands of Tom Barrasso. The fact that Ottawa was able to whisk two pucks past Barrasso is, in itself, a minor miracle.
Laukkanen was picked up two years ago from the Colorado Avalanche in late January 1996 for forward Brad Larsen. It is obvious that Gauthier needs to make more trades like this if the Sens hope to advance to the next level.
Go Canada - Bring home The Gold!
1998 © Copyright LCS Hockey All Rights Reserved