Friday, October 2, 2009

Peepin' Foes: Ottawa Senators

The Rangers open up the home schedule on Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators.

Where We Are: We will be playing on the back half two-games-in-two-nights. Perhaps that won't matter as it will be just the second game of the season and they will have the True Blue loud and proud on a Saturday night at the Garden. I won't even bring my sign from last season!

Where They Are: Ottawa will be playing their season opener after one awful summer. They were dragged through the saga that was Dany Heatley and came out of it for the worse. They picked up one-year-wonder Jon Cheechoo and the mediocre (and possible still concussed) Milan Michalek. They also added the oft-injured Pascal Leclaire to somehow solidify their goaltending. He is the Marian Gaborik of the crease - stellar when healthy, but rarely healthy.

Who To Watch For: Ottawa also brought in Alex Kovalev and Kovy seems to love playing against the Rangers - two goals in the Montreal Massacre among many other games. Even with Heater gone, the Sens still have the ageless Daniel Alfredsson and the supremely skilled Jason Spezza. Another guy to keep an eye on is Ryan Shannon, who really looked quite good at the end of last season and could be primed for a breakout year.

What To Watch For: After a grinding training camp that was so very tough by all accounts, the Rangers jump right into the frying pan with back to backs so their conditioning is something to be quite wary of. Also see who gets booed more during the pre-game introductions - Wade Redden or Michal Rozsival. I honestly think that Donald Brashear will get a mixed reaction while the two over-priced defenseman get some well-earned flak. My guess is Rozy based on his abominable preseason but he wasn't booed every time he touched the puck like Redden did.

What We'll (Hopefully) See: A win. The Blueshirts will almost have a mulligan for Friday night no matter how bad it is as the Pens will be riding the Stanley Cup emotion through their home opener. If the Rangers stumble out of the gate Saturday though, it could get ugly. Speaking of ugly, hopefully we won't see any rookies make the same mistake that Brandon Dubinsky did trying to prove themselves. Let them prove themselves with scoring and let goon do his job. On that note, this will be a big test for Donald Brashear as Ottawa will put Jarkko Ruutu out on the ice and we all know what impact Ruutu has. Chris Neil is also still on the Sens but perhaps he will be a little gun-shy after the ass-kicking he got at the hands of Milan Lucic during preseason.

Also Check Out: Sens Army and Five For Smiting and Black Aces, no not Eddie O and Mike Hudson.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scotty,

Thank you for the F U Penguin Link.
I am going through them all one by one...comedy gold I tell you.
-Plebeian

Daniel said...

I don't care how much money they make, or how much the tickets cost. Ranger fans booing the Rangers is classless. The team should respect the sweater they wear, and the fans should respect the tradition and legacy of the team. Especially at the Garden, especially on opening night. If you feel like booing the Rangers, there's a team across the River that could use some fans. Booing Redden isn't going to make him any better or make him get sent to Hartford, and booing Brashear won't unsign his contract. They're the Rangers. You're a fan. Support the players on the team. It's that simple. I hope they go out there and kill it every single game, but I won't boo them if they don't.

Scotty Hockey said...

Ah Daniel, the age-old 'to boo or not to boo' argument. There is no resolution. You have you opinion and I have mine. I feel that booing is a perfectly acceptable way of voicing your displeasure. I spend over four grand to watch them play, if I'm not happy, I have no qualms with letting them know. But I agree, it doesn't make them do any better; in fact, it occasionally makes them worse - Malik - but they already have my money, booing is the only way I can express myself. I tried signs (as you can see) and almost was thrown out of the Garden.

Anonymous said...

Who wants to bet that Torts give the A to Donald Brashear?

Anonymous said...

There is a benefit to booing, but I think it should be reserved for situations that are beyond hope.

If you boo a player for one mistake or two (before all hope is lost) it can make them lose confidence and their play will suffer, hence the team will suffer. However, if you have been putting up with a players mistakes for far too long and nothing is improving (Malik) then booing at least sends a message to the management that you are not happy with a player, coach, system etc.

-Plebeian

Daniel said...

Well gentlemen, I'd be a liar if I said I never booed Marek Malik.