Senators News: October 18th; Ottawa 5 New Jersey 2

-Ottawa beat New Jersey 5-2 last night despite the Sens continuing to take too many penalties.  Here’s the boxscore and Dave Young‘s summary.  Paul MacLean was not happy with the game:

But again, we gave up 42 shots at home. I don’t think we handled momentum swings very well. But saying all that, really the positive thing is coming back from a six-game road trip, playing a day after coming back from the west coast. It’s always a difficult game. The team responded. (Craig Anderson) was obviously outstanding in the net and kept the game where we needed it to be. And at the end of the day, we win the game, so it’s time to get ready for the next one. We’re going to have to come up with an answer for it, because we take way too many penalties. In my opinion they’re lazy penalties, for want of a better term, where we reach instead of moving our feet and skating. We end up taking penalties because we’re reaching with our stick, and that turns momentum the wrong way. Seven and half minutes left in the first period, we’re up 2-0 and take four minor penalties, and arguably all four we didn’t have to take. So we’re going to have to address that again and find a better solution than we have.

Other than scratching Chris Neil (unlikely) I’m not sure how MacLean intends on cutting into the dumb penalties (Travis Yost looks at the lengthy trend of Ottawa being penalized well above the norm and doesn’t like the idea of officiating bias being part of the reason–normally I’d agree with him that it’s a weak excuse, but this is the NHL so it’s not outside the realm of possibility).  Travis also illustrates how poorly the Sens played last night, again pointing at the Greening-Smith-Neil line–but that’s MacLean’s decision so surely he either thinks he’s getting something out of them or believes it’s better than any other alternative.

-Varada thinks the ungodly commute to CTC hurts the Sens attendance and he’s absolutely correct.  There’s nothing funnier (or sadder) than seeing desperate fans rushing from the building hoping to get their car out of the lot before the inevitable 30-minute traffic jam.

-Varada hates Chris Phillips on the powerplay as much as I do.

-Roger the Shrubber tells fans they shouldn’t boo Eugene Melnyk because it’s rude (Jeremy Milks cringed as well, but presumably in manly fashion), but it’s apparently justifiable if Eugene is “terrible” (how we’re meant to define that is left unexplored–presumably you’ll have to ask Roger if it’s okay).  I feel for Roger, because he raises a potentially interesting question (the ethics of booing), but fails to explore it.  His premise is:

The question is whether doing so [booing] makes you a boorish moron

And

let’s all just accept that it’s rude to boo someone.  You are literally yelling wordless disapproval at someone’s face

These aren’t arguments–there’s no attempt to justify either assertion, but even if we accept them how does Roger dovetail that into accepting booing if he decides Melnyk is “terrible”?  Doesn’t that mean that if I think Melnyk is “terrible”, I’m justified in booing him?  If “terrible” is completely subjective, than Roger is in no position to judge anyone’s behaviour, but that’s what he’s doing here.  Regardless, he’s tackling something I see rarely discussed so hopefully Roger will keep at it and we’ll see something more rounded next time.

-Allan Muir looks at how rebuilding teams are doing and Ottawa is not included in the discussion–it’s a compliment, but also (I think) incorrect–the Sens are not completely out of rebuilding mode.

-Stephane Da Costa cleared waivers and was sent down to Binghamton; I haven’t heard if he’ll be in tonight’s lineup.

-Binghamton faces Syracuse (1-1-1) tonight and the Crunch’s Lindsay Kramer writes about Syracuse’s struggles for offense early in the season.  Jeff Ulmer offers a preview for Binghamton that includes this about Shane Prince:

Coach Luke Richardson said Prince was playing too much on the perimeter and not getting any scoring chances and he expects better from him. Richardson also added that Prince wasn’t happy not being penciled in and thinks that he got the message.

This kind of accountability is fantastic–it shouldn’t matter who you are, if you aren’t doing what you are supposed too you sit.  Jeff also includes lineups for tonight, but I haven’t seen anything posted so I’m not sure what his source for them is.  [A quick update: Derek Grant was recalled by the Sens.]

-This isn’t apropos of anything in particular, but it’s on my mind.  One of the things I find puzzling/frustrating when it comes to any debate is the following: someone posts or states a theory about a topic and gets the following response: “no” or “you’re wrong” or some variant thereof with no explanation, no argumentation, no facts, just a straight out denial.  Admittedly there are trolls who just want to stir the pot, but this happens enough that there’s clearly more going on.  What does this accomplish?  We default to simplistic statements (in a hockey context, “player X isn’t very good”) without justifying them from time to time, but generally these are simply meant as bookmarked opinions that can easily be expanded on (and aren’t used in serious discussion).  I understand no one likes to be wrong and that sometimes it’s hard to explain a feeling or position, but ultimately I’d rather learn the truth than simply “win” an argument.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

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