Monday, January 07, 2008

Those Battlin' brothers of Bytown

What is said in the room, stays in the room, unless of course it spills out onto the practice ice.

The Senators when not chuckling a bit, are doing a bit of damage control over the brawl to end it all at practice on Monday. In the black corner, carrying the hopes and dreams of rugged role players everywhere,the pride of Hamilton, Ontario, weighing in at a strapping 234 pounds, Flyin’ Brian McGrattan.

And in the red corner, carrying more than a few extra bits of baggage this season, the popular heavyweight of the goaltenders union, with at least three undisputed title defences to his credit. Also born in Hamilton, checking in at a fighting trim 196 pounds, the Gangster of the Goal, the Ninja of the Nets, Ragin’ Ray Emery.

Hmmm, hometowns of Hamilton, man this explains it all. Oh well, as they say in Vegas, Lets get ready to rumble................

The Battle at the Bank took place after McGrattan bumped Emery on an inside lane when the two were doing sprint laps during the Senators practice on Monday. The Ottawa Citizen, knowing what’s news in Ottawa (this on the same day that Larry O’Brien, the Mayor of Ottawa, appeared at an OPP station to be booked on election related criminal charges) featured a photo gallery of the various stages of the two step action dance that has the hockey world chattering. (Make note of the marvelous placement of the Hockey Night in Canada logo on the boards, a surefire ratings winner for the CBC).

The players weren’t making much of it by the end of practice, while coach John Paddock seemed less enthusiastic about the extra curricular part of the practice, most likely Paddock was just thankful that Emery hadn’t gone toe to toe, with Spezza, Alfreddson or anyone else that might want to score a goal when the Sens next play on Thursday against the Sabres (who have been known to throw a punch or two of their own, but normally at the other team).

If nothing else, the two dance partners on the dance card were more or less perfectly matched, though the potential for a serious injury is always there when such unwanted activities take place on the ice.

Over the weekend Emery found someone to work his corner if you will, as he found some support in his latest troubles with the Sens from none other than Don Cherry. A sense of admiration that perhaps is due to the stylish way that the two dress, charter members of the Moore’s’ suits for men (men of action division).

What remains to be seen is if the one who really counts, Senators GM Bryan Murray is still in his corner. After yet another high profile incident involving the mercurial Sens goalie, even the ever patient Murray may start making some long distance phone calls.

Ottawa Citizen--Emery and McGrattan fight during practice
Ottawa Sun--Monday, 3 p.m. Goalie, tough guy bump, toss punches before teammates jump in downplay Emery, McGrattan punch up

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