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General Sens Talk - Part III

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  • Originally posted by Matt the Aussie View Post

    Hell, if we play our cards right, we may just trade for some of those guys before they hit free agency! Gotta hit that floor somehow right?
    Called it on Twitter :P

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    • So I went to the game last night (and I didn't pay for the tickets so don't accost me for being pro-Eugene) and because it was my first and probably only game of the year I took it as an opportunity to do some scouting.

      Also, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge that last night was the team's (probably first ever?) pride night and I was impressed. The employees in the building seemed to genuinely embrace the occasion and it really created a community-type sentiment in the arena that is often lacking in sterile professional sports settings. In an era when I find myself criticizing everything the team does from the top down, the organization took time not only to acknowledge their LGBTQ+ fans but also acknowledge black history month and got the capital city condors involved in the pre-game. I am the first person to roll my eyes at the lackluster effort that is hockey-is-for-everyone and yet I can put my biases aside and say that the organization made what felt like a genuine effort last night. But I digress.

      Rudolfs Balcers: Rudy was not the prospect I would have predicted to top my list. And yet, he belongs. Rudy doesn't get a lot of minutes from Boucher, especially in the third period of close games and the 11-7 format is especially harsh for young forwards when it comes to five-on-five minutes. Rudy didn't waste a second of the ice time he did get though. He's fast, he has a nose for the puck, he's not afraid to battle, and he wants to get into the slot and get creative. I was so impressed by his game.

      Brady Tkachuk: This was my first opportunity to see several shiny new prospects and none came with more hype than Brady. He has hit a wall in terms of production but not for lack of effort. He certainly isn't the same player when he's separated from Mark Stone (let's not talk about those implications please). However, beyond his offence, he is the most exciting hockey player the Senators have drafted in a LONG time. Watching Brady is FUN. He provides entertainment. He has nerves of steel and he throws his body around like he's Gumby. What I like about Brady's game is that he doesn't just use his size to throw down big hits (although he does crush people, make no mistake about that. The friendship tour was in full effect last night and I'm sure the 'Canes hate him already). Brady is fearless around the net as advertised and he gets his nose in everything. He also gets creative and plays in a very unconventional style that must be a nightmare to defend against. Watching Tkachuk allows me to forget everything that is depressing about hockey and just enjoy the entertainment that is pro sports.

      Jaros and Lajoie: I don't have a tonne to say about these guys except that watching them in person renewed my faith in their potential. The numbers don't look great for these guys. However, they are visibly compensating for the trials of getting paired with Boro and Ceci respectively. Both Jaros and Lajoie can move the puck. They both know when to do the right thing and fling the puck into the crease and let their forwards take it from there. They make quick decisions at the blue line and don't get caught out of position often. I was pretty hyped when they were paired together for about five seconds before the Sens conceded a powerplay goal against. I'm willing to forgive a pair of rookies out there on the penalty kill. They look composed beyond their years.

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      • Thanks for writing this man. Much appreciated.

        Haven't been to see these guys in person but I agree with all of your assessments from my TV screen. In particular I am a huge Jaros fan.

        Lajoie started off great but he is not ideally paired and I feel that has hurt his development slightly. Boro is fine in small doses (and kudos for his comments re: pride night) but I cannot stress enough, if someone will give us anything for Ceci it is time to pull that trigger.

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        • Originally posted by Matt the Aussie View Post
          Lajoie started off great but he is not ideally paired and I feel that has hurt his development slightly. Boro is fine in small doses (and kudos for his comments re: pride night) but I cannot stress enough, if someone will give us anything for Ceci it is time to pull that trigger.
          Ceci was definitely Ceci last night. And it still blows my mind A) that any team would want him and B) that he's still a Senator. Boro, to your point, has his moments. What is apparent at the game and not in the box score is how engaged Boro is in the "game within the game." He and Pageau and Smith are verbal. They confer with their teammates. You see them building their game plans and strategies. They're vocal with the officials and coaching staff. While none of them (except Pageau) look good on paper, I can see what a playoff team would appreciate about those players for a run. They're emotional and they take dumb penalties and they aren't the most skilled. They compensate, however, by staying invested in the greater chess match. And then you have players like Stone who have all of those Intangibles (TM) and are also really good.

          Watching Harpur has become a car crash in slow motion. I really want to give him some slack cos he's so young. However, he looks EXACTLY like Jared Cowen out there. He's just too damn slow and he can't make decisions at the speed of the game. It felt like he was out there for the entire third period and I was (pleasantly) surprised when I got home and checked the box score and saw that he was dead last in minutes among defenders. When any two or Ceci/Boro/Harp are out there simultaneously it's guaranteed yackety sax at five-on-five or on the penalty kill.

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          • Originally posted by thedaigle1 View Post

            Ceci was definitely Ceci last night. And it still blows my mind A) that any team would want him and B) that he's still a Senator. Boro, to your point, has his moments. What is apparent at the game and not in the box score is how engaged Boro is in the "game within the game." He and Pageau and Smith are verbal. They confer with their teammates. You see them building their game plans and strategies. They're vocal with the officials and coaching staff. While none of them (except Pageau) look good on paper, I can see what a playoff team would appreciate about those players for a run. They're emotional and they take dumb penalties and they aren't the most skilled. They compensate, however, by staying invested in the greater chess match. And then you have players like Stone who have all of those Intangibles (TM) and are also really good.

            Watching Harpur has become a car crash in slow motion. I really want to give him some slack cos he's so young. However, he looks EXACTLY like Jared Cowen out there. He's just too damn slow and he can't make decisions at the speed of the game. It felt like he was out there for the entire third period and I was (pleasantly) surprised when I got home and checked the box score and saw that he was dead last in minutes among defenders. When any two or Ceci/Boro/Harp are out there simultaneously it's guaranteed yackety sax at five-on-five or on the penalty kill.
            Good point re: Boro. It's clear management/ownership value Boro far higher than the stat sheet and perhaps your comments illustrate why. In a complete team, Boro is a good complimentary piece. In this environment (like many Senators) he is being asked to do way too much.

            Maybe it's my recency bias but Ben Harpur looks WORSE than I remember Cowen being? Jared Cowen at least chipped in an offensive play or two. Harpur just lumbers around in a permanent state of confusion.

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            • Originally posted by Matt the Aussie View Post
              Maybe it's my recency bias but Ben Harpur looks WORSE than I remember Cowen being? Jared Cowen at least chipped in an offensive play or two. Harpur just lumbers around in a permanent state of confusion.
              To your point I can't even picture Harp winding up for a big ol' howizter from the point. Even if Cowen sent those right into the crest on the goalie's jersey, he still took his shots.

              Just Lumber[ing] around in a Permanent State of Confusion: The True Story of the Ottawa Senators under Pierre Dorion.

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              • I want to like this post about 5 bajillion times but once will have to do

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                • Originally posted by Matt the Aussie View Post
                  [...]

                  I cannot stress enough, if someone will give us anything for Ceci it is time to pull that trigger.
                  No matter how much of a bumbling fool Pierre Dorion may be, never forget that he negotiated Taylor Hall for Ceci, but Melnyk shut it down.

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                  • Originally posted by thedaigle1 View Post
                    Just Lumber[ing] around in a Permanent State of Confusion: The True Story of the Ottawa Senators under Pierre Dorion.
                    Subtitle:

                    Broken Shticks and Brat Tricks: How To Alienate Fans and Discourage People - by Meddling Melnyk
                    (Now with excerpts from MelindaVsMonikaTroll, The Uber Insider, and OrganDonor666)

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