Monday, April 5, 2010

Let's Check Out the Defence, Ya Dig?

Well then... *dusts off the cobwebs*

It's been a few days now hasn't it!! Both Oakes and I went home to O-Town for the Easter weekend and we're the first to admit we slacked a little bit. Looks like our boys decided to take some time off too eh? ZING.

Jokes aside, it would make me cry to come here and ramble on about the pathetic effort Saturday afternoon in a meaningless game. The bright side is, the Sens have shown an ability to play to the level of their opponents this year, as evidenced by the awful record against non-playoff teams and excellent record against playoff teams losing only 4 times to playoff teams (as it stands now playoff teams at least) SINCE JANUARY. Wild eh?

THIS JUST IN: Apparently only playoff teams play in the playoffs!!!

Phew. Guess we can hope the trend continues.

But now that we are talking about the playoffs, let's look at something that came up in conversation on the way back to Kingston; The Senators' defence corps.

Much has been made about the fantastic depth the Sens have up front with Spezza and Alfie, who carried us to the Finals not too long ago, on the top line. The second line has wizard (with good playoff numbers) Kovy, Fish (who's game is meant for the dance) and likely Foligno (who's cycle game will be good for the playoffs). The Third line has Cullen (cup winner), Michalek (one of the only Sharks who didnt TOTALLY suck it in the postseason) and probably Shannon (let's face it, I'm not sold on him in the playoffs). The Fourth line is made up of grizzled vets who get it, and who will help us win at least one series (as the internet junkies say... book it).

Much has also been made about the fact that neither Spazzy or our Saviour Elliott have ever even sniffed the playoffs.

But NOBODY, and I mean nobody, is talking about the fact that outside of Volchy and Phillips, CHRIS CAMPOLI IS THE MOST EXPERIENCED POSTSEASON D-MAN ON THE TEAM.



Have you wiped the mess you just made on your seat up yet?

Good. Now, let's chat.

Assuming Filip Kuba really IS out for the year (and it's looking like that) the D will look like this in the playoffs

Chris Phillips: 91 postseason games, cup finalist, general badass. I'm not worried about the rig. He is having a career year and I expect him to do his thing and step up as he always does come mid-april.

Android Volchenkov: 55 playoff games, cup finalist, russian cyborg. Again, not worried about our Russian bear. These may be the last games he plays in a colour that will hide the blood from he blocked shots, but he is having a career year too, expect him to amp it in the playoffs to ensure he cashes in hard this summer.

Chris Campoli: 5 games postseason play, first round exit, floundering midget. When confident and determined, as in the last few games, Campoli is actually kind of a useful player. When he gets complacent and assumes he has a roster spot, he shits the bed. Right now he is fighting for a contract. Let's pray he gives us good third pairing minutes and some quality PP time.

Mount Sutton: 4 playoff games, first round sweep, literally looks like bigfoot. I would never say this to his face, but as awesome as Sutton is, he is as big a question mark as anyone else that comes after him on this list. However, it can be argued (and possibly rightly, I know I would) that his game suits the playoffs, and that, at 35, he should be hungry to give all he's got in his chance at the dance.

The Kid: (Yes! HIMYM reference!) 0 playoff games, only 57 regular season games, awe-inspiring rookie. King Karlsson was rightly fellated on this site for his play recently and rewarded me by putting in two huge goals to secure the playoffs the next game. However, upon my boasting, he shit the bed last game. He is just a rookie and he has played well, but he can either help the Sens win a game (like Thursday) or he can serve up some turnovers (like Saturday). Jury is out, but for the Sens to have success, the Kid must be the King.

Carks: 0 playoff games, only 78 games regular season, one ear. So this should be interesting. I think that even though at the beginning of the year Carks was a feel good story, his first year in the NHL, and that many fights and PK minutes took a toll on him and he seems tired. He would be my bet should Kuba make a return to come out, but to spot in should the series require some toughness.

So there you have it, hope I haven't scared you too much. As much as this is an unknown group, I have confidence. You have to start somewhere right?

Which playoff virgin (or at least prude) are you most interested in seeing in playoff action?


GelatinousMutantCoconut said...

yeah, but experience isn't everything...How much did Chicago's blueline have last year? Or Pittsburghs for the last two?

It;s an asset, but not a necessity.

The one issue I see is puck-movement. At the best of times, the Kanata Transportation Company (Big Rig and the A-Train) is merely competent getting the puck up the nice. In the tighter checking of the play-offs, their turnovers may increase even more.

So if Karlsson fades and Campoli withers, our beloved Sens may find themselves unable to get the puck out of their zone.

But we shall see. I have faith.

Joes said...

Haven't watched too much hockey up till now but when considering the first round of the playoffs, for me it really depends on what team the D are up against. I haven't seen too much of Pittsburgh this year but I would be concerned about Karlsson and Campoli's ability down low when they go through spells pinned in their own end which seems a very likely scenario against the Pens?

And that's mostly in comparison to playing against New Jersey where Campoli and Karlsson's speed against more a two way and counter attack minded team I think they would feel a lot more at home against. And that way, against the devils it might be easier to get into a grittier playoff mentality than Pittsburgh?

Young said...

Mr Coconut,

Thats why at the end I said I have confidence. Experience isn't everything, but as you said it helps.

Also, Kanata Transportation Company may be the best thing ever said on this site!

GelatinousMutantCoconut said...

I wasn't knocking your article or your faith Young!

I'm sorry if I gave you that impression...

I guess I just get defensive when it comes to the Sens, because I'm friends with a bunch of leafs fans constantly ripping the team.

And thank you....the idea just popped into my head as I was writing the comment...I shall definitely always use it when referring to them as a pairing.

Young said...

No no! No hard feelings! Just wanted to show you my faith was strong!

Leafs fans are lame. Give them a kick in the shins for me!