Today's 5 Questions With...features Senators Lost Cojones from Five For Smiting who presumably will continue his search indefinitely as Giggles remains a main cog on the team. As always, thanks to him for playing along and doing his part to dispel the myth that ottawa is the city that fun forgot as his answers clearly show that he enjoys playing in the 'snow' with Redden and Emery.
1. Let's play a game of word association. I'll give you a famous BoO name and you give me the first word that pops into yours. Cory Cross. Patrick Lalime. Ricard Persson. Stephen Harper.
I'll try to limit myself to one word (after all, we wouldn't want to confuse the average Leaf fan with full sentences), but I make no promises.
Cory Cross: Laughable. [Ed.'s Note: Yeah, I was laughing when this happened too.]
Lalime: NIEUWENDYK, YA BASTARD!!! Whoops. Sorry.
Persson: Stigmata. Who knew cement could bleed so much? Dammit...there I go again.
Harper: Misguided. Tragically misguided.
2. The sens had a nice little playoff run last spring that culminated in your one line, one defence pairing team getting wrecked in the final. What changes were made to generate consistent secondary scoring and more mental toughness for the team? According to Mirtle, Forsberg is done. What are the sens' backup plans for generating more offence (some might say the team's existence is offensive enough) since no one is good enough to play on a line with Alfie while Heatley and Spezza weep when separated?
No real changes were made, nor were any really needed. While most of Leaf Nation may have missed it trying to book those April tee times, the Sens were far from a one line team until they reached the Finals, when the combination of a nine day layoff (manufactured by the evil cabal of Brian Burke and Gary Bettman I should add) and a rampant case of just-happy-to-be-here-itis took over. Remember, we're still one of the youngest teams in the league (it's okay Leaf fans...you can cry. It'll get better...someday). The only slight change I would have made against Anaheim would have been to drop Alfie to the second line, with Fisher and Eaves. They did that quite a few times during the regular season and a few times in the first three rounds and it was magic. I have no idea why Murray didn't try it in the Final. [Ed.'s Note: Considering his record in the playoffs it's not that much of a surprise that he was a deer in the headlights during the Duck's demolition.]
And in case watching the Ducks skate around with the Big Ugly Trophy wasn't enough to cure any problems with mental toughness, signing Donovan and Richardson (you remember him right?) will definitely help with both the secondary scoring (Donovan) and calming the kids down when things get hairy next spring (Richardson). They won't make the same mistake twice.
I'm dismissing Forsberg out of hand, since he won't be available. As an expensive, injury prone European whose past his prime, JFJ will have him signed by Christmas.
3. The Hockey News recently published interesting proposal for a trade between the two teams. What do you make of that proposal? Would you trade Mike Fisher for Mats Sundin and the resultant massive boost in the leadership department? Would he automatically become the captain or go straight to player-coach?
I can only assume this is a pathetic attempt by an obscure upstart little rag to boost its readership. THE Hockey News? My my, aren't we self-important.
Mike Fisher is a living god, and heir-apparent to the Captaincy who will never, under any circumstances, be traded, ever. For anybody. Ever. I don't think I can make that point strongly enough. The day that happens is the day I soak my Senators memorabilia in the urine of a thousand goats and pile it on Eugene Melnyk's desk with him under it. [Ed.'s Note: And presumably return to cheering for either the Habs or the Leafs.] Besides, Fish can throw a busted stick much further that Mats ever could.
4. The sens have once again started a regular season on fire. That makes 10 years out of the last 11 that they have managed to create highly unrealistic expectations. Wayne Scanlan has even speculated that this team could be the best ever. Considering the pattern of high expectations equalling disappointing playoff exits what is your worst case scenario for this season?
The absolute, wake-up-in-a-cold-sweat, crack-each-other's-skulls-open-and-feast-on-the-gooey-stuff-inside, worst case scenario would of course be getting swept in the first round by Toronto. Seriously. CBC would carry the live pictures, gleefully narrated by Bob Cole and Don Cherry, of thousands upon thousands of Sens fans committing mass suicide by jumping off the Peace Tower. This being Ottawa, it would be a very orderly mass suicide, but still.
Thankfully, as the Leafs have as good a chance of making the playoffs as I do of having a threesome with Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron, it's not something we need to dwell on all that much. [Ed.'s Note: We'll expect to see the pictures up on your site.]
5. Sure, your regular season domination - I've seen it referred to a the Rape and Pillage of Lower Ontario - is great but how much of it would you trade for one playoff series victory over the Leafs? How obnoxious is it hearing about the four straight eliminations at the hands of God's Team (he doesn't intervene directly of course, that wouldn't be fair)?
I have to tell you, the worst thing about those playoff losses was the fact that once the Laughs had beaten us they'd invariably get killed in the very next round thus robbing us of even the small satisfaction of being bested by a better team. How many regular season wins would I trade for one series victory? Easy. All of them.
That said, being constantly reminded of those four years was pretty infuriating when the wounds were fresh, but now it's just...sad. Hearing it from Leaf fans today is like running into the high school bully in a bar twenty years later. You've moved on to become a successful, upstanding citizen but there he is, a drunk, thrice divorced middle aged fat guy with his 1993 mullet, wearing a sweat stained wife-beater running up a tab he can't pay, while telling all who will listen what a big man he was back in the day, and would be again if he "could just catch that next big break, dammit". Are you still afraid of that guy? No. You feel sorry for him. And maybe buy him a beer. [Ed.'s Note: FOUR TIMES IN A ROW!!!! Fun Fact, 4-1 is the only way that the Leafs have not eliminated the sens. A complete set this Spring would be a nice gift for Leafs fans.]