With a 7-0 mollywhopping win on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Penguins now own a 3-2 series lead over the Ottawa Senators. It’s dire times for the Sens, and it’s raised an intense debate among RMNBers and Caps fans alike: should we support those guys?
Speaking for the pro position is Cara Bahniuk. Speaking against the motion is Peter Hassett.
Erik Karlsson is one of the best — if not the single best — defensemen in the league. Averaging over 25 minutes on ice per game, Karlsson finished the regular season third in points among defenders with 71 (17 goals, 54 assists). Karlsson has earned 70-plus points in four different seasons and is only the second defenseman in NHL history to lead his team in scoring in four consecutive seasons. Karlsson also blocked 201 shots this season, finishing second in the league. His shot blocking habit led to a fractured heel, which he has been playing through the entirety of the playoffs.
Off the ice Karlsson is a lover of pizza, using it to propose to his now-fiancé Melinda.
The owner and god-emperor of the Ottawa Senators is a Ukranian businessman named Eugene. Eugene has become inhumanly rich by mining expiring drug patents and committing securities fraud. As owner of the Senators, he’s frugally guided his team from the lower-middle of the NHL to the middle-middle of the NHL. Yet somehow, inexplicably, they have a chance at making the finals, and not even Travis Yost can’t stop him.
Kyle Turris is a good Canadian boy from British Columbia. After getting traded to Ottawa from the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2011-12 season, Turris first invested in a nice winter jacket and then found a way to get involved in the local Ottawa community.
Turris now serves as the honorary caption of the Capital City Condors, a hockey team for those aged six-plus who can’t play on other teams due to developmental disabilities. Turris and his wife, Julie, volunteer with the team regularly and support many team functions. He sponsors a golf event called the “Kyle Turris Capital City Condors Golf Classic.” After netting the game-winning overtime goal during Game Five of the Sens series against the Rangers, Turris attended the Condors team banquet just 90 minutes later.
— Capital City Condors (@condorsottawa) May 7, 2017
On or off the ice, you pick.
Here’s Ryan maybe ending Chad Ruhwedel’s postseason.
And there’s Ryan’s now-defunct twitter account, where he voiced how little time he has for peaceful protest and Muslims.
Yeah, hard pass on this dude.
Guy Boucher leads the Sens as his second NHL coaching gig. From 2010-2013, Boucher coached the Tampa Bay Lightning. He led the team to the Eastern Conference Final in his first year (sweeping the Capitals along the way), but was fired 32 games into his third year.
After a brief stint in the Swiss hockey league, Boucher was hired by the Senators and in one seasons has turned the Sens around a 85 point team to a 98 point team. But….
Sure, he’s a good coach, but I’m still not over the aforementioned 2011 playoffs, in which Boucher’s Lightning swept the Capitals in the second round.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: The Caps had the puck a lot, but their opponent got more scoring chances on broken plays and transition attacks. A miserable performance by the goalie gave the underdog the series win, crushing the confidence of the Capitals. Same song in 2011 as in 2017, except with Neuvirth instead of Holtby.
Guy Boucher is one of the reasons why summertime makes me sad. I will never forgive him, that Bond-villain-looking jerk.
Although his hockey allegiance lies with the Montreal Canadiens, Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau did not hesitate to say his fandom is flexible.
“I think all Canadians will be rooting for the final Canadian team in the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Trudeau said. “We’re all happy to support Ottawa right now and even Torontonians and Montrealers can agree on this.”
I am sure some Canadians aren’t rooting for the Sens, but if the Prime Minister says so, maybe we can jump on board.
Photo: Huffington Post Canada
That’s the thing. No one knows. Senators. What?!
What an obtuse name for a hockey team from a capital city in North America that has zero Stanley Cups since the Great Depression, and I’ve had enough of those for one season.
Hey, what is a Capital?
Clarke MacArthur, a bottom-six forward, signed a free-agent contract with the Sens prior to the 2014-2015 season. Halfway into MacArthur’s first season, he collided with own-goalie Robin Lehner. Both players were diagnosed with concussions after the collision.
In October 2015, MacArthur suffered another concussion during the Sens fourth game of the season Athough cleared to return in March 2016, he did not see the ice the remainder of the season.
MacArthur seemed set to return to play this fall, but suffered yet another concussion when new-teammate Patrick Sieloff hit MacArthur into the board. Bobby Ryan fought Sieloff immediately.
In January, MacArthur said he did not have any lingering symptoms, but doctors still recommended he not play any of the Senators remaining games. On April 4, however, MacArthur returned to the ice after an 18-month absence.
His story ends on a happy note. During Game Six of the Sens first round series against the Boston Bruins, MacArthur scored the game-winning, series-clinching goal in overtime. His reaction was so pure; you can’t help but root for him.
So, tickets available for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final (tomorrow night)… this is going to be the most embarrassing yet (by far). pic.twitter.com/vLb5tLnTBN
— SensNation (@SensNation) May 22, 2017
The Senators are having trouble selling tickets to their biggest game in years. Part of the reason why: Canadian Tire Centre is like a billion hours away from the heart of the city.
It’s like if DC had put a major sports team in Landover.
Craig Anderson began his season strong (12 wins, 6 losses), but after an early December game he took a leave of absence to tend to his wife, Nicholle, who is battling nasopharyngeal carcinoma, a form of head and neck cancer.
“Win or lose, it’s a hockey game — there’s more to life,” Anderson told the National Post during his leave. “You learn that when you have kids, but when you go through something this traumatic and difficult, hockey is a job. I’m passionate about it, but at the end of the day, hockey will go on, whether I’m in it or not.”
The Senators did continue, but Anderson was happily welcomed back to the team again on February 11th when he completed a shutout stopping all 33 Islanders shots on goal.
Anderson has performed well in the playoffs, leading the Sens to 10 wins with a 2.4 GAA. Nicholle was in attendance during the series-clinching Game Six against the Bruins and shared a sweet moment with her husband after the game.
“You don’t know how much time you have with someone. Life is precious,” Anderson stated about his time away. Nicholle has a blog called Stick by Nik where she writes about her treatment and the support her husband has shown her during her fight.
I can handle only so much heartache in a single year. The Caps’ goaltending, the ‘Zards’ game-seven collapse, the Nats’ bullpen, the football team’s everything. I’m at my saturation point for being let down by professional sports teams into which I have invested my heart. And now you have the temerity to ask me to root for the Senators against the Penguins? Even if they win, they will be trounced by the Nashville Forsbergs, and that’s gonna hurt even worse.
Hell no, I’m gonna watch Netflix and wallow instead. Nice try, Cara.
Headline Photo: Maddie Meyer
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