If I was better man, a nicer man, a good man, I’d feel differently about the mess the Ottawa Senators find themselves in right now. But I’m a terrible man, a bad man, so I’m quite giddy, thank you very much.
Even though there’s still time to redeem themselves, the Ottawa Senators, and their fans I’m sure, know otherwise. They know this is a team that has never gotten it done, even though there’s always been more than enough talent. Hey, they’ve had so much talent, they didn’t have either room or money for Zdeno Chara, Martin Havlat, and Marian Hossa!
And who can forget number one draft pick Alexander Daigle, who the team threw wheelbarrows of cash at, (5 year, 12.5 million), because he’d been a good junior, but alas, who turned out to be a remarkably lousy pro and even lousier actor.
Alexei Yashin, another young Senators pick, turned out to be a guy with dollar signs in his eyes, and even though talented, became a bum nonetheless. This is a guy who promised to donate a million bucks to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, then changed his mind and said forget it.
And every year they shoot themselves in the foot because they fail to recognize, for some unknown reason, that they don’t have a goalie. That’s what it’s always boiled down to. The goalie.
Patrick Lalime must have needed glasses. Martin Gerber wasn’t good enough in Carolina, so why would he be good enough in Ottawa? Dominik Hasek would’ve been a good choice but either his head or his body or both were never in the Nation’s Capital and he became just another sad disappointment.
And Ray Emery? He could’ve played himself in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” This is a guy who dresses like a pimp, is late for practices, thinks the Ottawa police have it in for him, seems out of sorts with life itself, and millions of dollars won’t fix it.
It’s like he doesn’t want to play hockey, hates it in fact, but it’s a damn job and woe is me.
When the Senators went 15 and 2 at the start of the season, it looked like they should be handed the Stanley Cup then because it wouldn’t fair to put the other teams through the misery. The big line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, and Jason Spezza were collecting, it seemed, about eight points a night between the three of them. The media was wondering if this team could be the new 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens, who had only lost eight games all year.
People in Ottawa, including a bunch I know, were slapping themselves on the back on a nightly basis. But Ottawa fans should’ve learned after all the playoff implosions that you can’t sit back and get comfortable. Anything can happen. Ray Emery can happen.
And when I think of the Ottawa Senators, I also think of someone else. The smug, silly-smiling, hand-gesturing, thumbs up, winking, singing cop decked out in his finest. The one who sings the national anthem, the one I wish would go away, Lyndon Slewidge.
Senator’s fans now say it’s never over until the fat lady sings.
I say it’s over when Lyndon Slewidge sings.