Today, we cover the most boring and meaningless team in the North Division who are not the Winnipeg Jets. And before I tell you why I hate them, I have to confess a couple of things, clear my conscience.
I quite like Brady Tkachuk. I watched him in the WJC in Buffalo and was impressed, and I think he’s a good player. Connor Brown is a hell of a guy, and anyone who hates him hates Irish Setters or Golden Retrievers. I also appreciate the problems of running an NHL team on a budget. Particularly in Canada. I sympathize!
I hate the Ottawa Senators because they have it so damn easy right now. And I know in my heart they’re going to blow it. But there they’ll be this season, lording it over the teams slogging hard at this NHL hockey stuff, playing the game on nightmare level, while they doddle along doing the boss fights on easy and claiming they’re kings of the world.
There is absolutely no time in the lifecycle of a hockey franchise easier than the moment after you’ve FUBARed absolutely everything for decades and then ended up with Connor Brown on your top line and a fist full of prospects, some of whom were the right draft choices. It doesn’t matter who the owner is when a team has landed in this sweetest of sweet spots. Leaving Detroit behind in our collective rush to the panic room of North America, slamming and locking the door behind us, can’t even dampen what will be their sweetest season.
No, they aren’t going to win, the losers. That’s not why I hate them. I hate them because the moment after the tank, the moment when you have — okay not the best player in the draft, but a good one in Tim Stuetzle — that moment is when expectations are zero, the hate of the fanbase has burned out to a dull, lethargic depression, and the team is suddenly noticeably better (to a Sens fan, not a normal person) and you can feel hope again.
This is their glimmering dawn, and it won’t go horribly wrong for them. Yet. The sun will come up for them more than once this season. They have nine shots to beat the Leafs and 10 to beat the Habs. They’re going to win some of those, and then they’ll feel good about themselves, because that’s all it will take!
There won’t be any whining about “playing the kids” because they’ll have to. That’s all they have. Short of a few veteran signings who will go away this summer, they have one player over thirty. They’ve only had to sign one hot prospect to a decent term deal, and he’s a defenceman! And he’s good! God, I hate them right now.
Next summer is when the first clouds darken their horizon. They’ll have worries about Matt Murray, even if he’s not bad this season. They’ll have to pay Tkachuk. It’s like when the annoying 20-somethings (checks economy), annoying 30-somethings with no kids buy a house and slowly the realization steals over them that life is just a series of problems to solve, most of which have only bad solutions to choose from. Until their furnace blows up the first time, you seethe at their blissful happiness.
I hate the Sens because they get to be happy just for showing up. They get to celebrate a win over the Canucks as an achievement. They get to really enjoy rolling the Oilers once or twice. They douse the Flames, and they feel like stars. They kick our asses and they won’t shut the hell up about it for days. I hate the Sens because they live in the most golden and blessed state of too dumb to know how bad they still are.
The Sens are that bright spark who just graduated from university who hasn’t been fired from their first job yet. The Sens are the braying, happy, young person enjoying the sunshine on a summers day who makes you want to punch them in the face when you walk out of your bank. The Sens are the kind of entitled scrap of youth that makes you yell, “You don’t know how good you’ve got it,” and then you just feel so old. Like you were born in the 19th century or something.
If Alex Galchenyuk isn’t horrible, they’ll claim they remade him. If they sell him off for a pick at the deadline, they’ll be thrilled! Remember when trading away a player was thrilling? And got you more than Joey Anderson. Okay, in Joey’s defence, he’d be on the Sens top line this year, but remember the good old days when trade speculation was fun?
I hate the Sens because they’re in the best season of their lives (yes I know they believe that Cup run was real, but come on). We just have to wait it out. The storm clouds of despair and disillusionment will come for them, like they come for us all. Enjoy your cheap wins, Sens. This is the best year of your lives.