Thursday, February 28, 2008

Well I think that went well, didn’t it?

A few years back Rick Mercer starred in a fine Canadian Television program called “Made in Canada”. The way that each episode would end and the catch words that the show became known for, featured Mercer turning to the camera and uttering the now famous “I think that went well!”, usually after the latest debacle that came to pass at Pyramid productions unraveled.

Well if they ever get around to featuring a hockey team in the lead role of a similar style of comedy, perhaps Bryan Murray could take a screen test, because if anyone could understand how things can unravel, it’s going to be the new head coach, GM and babysitter of the Ottawa Senators.

A little over 24 hours after Murray dismissed John Paddock from his job behind the Senators bench, Murray found out first hand just how much frustration Paddock must have endured as the stable of well paid hockey players once again found ways to lose, this time to the Philadelphia Flyers.

With Murray once again behind the bench, it had been hoped that the shock therapy would spur the Sens on to the form they first exhibited at the start of the season. Instead after a rather physical bit of sport in Philadelphia, it was physical therapy that the Sens required as a number of Ottawa’s players found themselves on the receiving end of hits, shoves and punches.

Things got so bad for Ottawa that at one point even Flyers goaltender Martin Biron was throwing his weight around, shoving Jason Spezza after the Senators finally had a goal to show for three consecutive games of work. Biron who took exception to Spezza’s celebration, shoved him twice once in the back and again in the chest, a push that set off a small skirmish which much to the anger of Bryan Murray found Spezza kicked out of the game.

The Senators woes continued on the injury front as well on Thursday night, as Anton Volchenkov was forced from the game in the second period after he suffered a bruised chest after blocking a shot.

For his return while he would have preferred a win and a few more goals, Murray said he was happy with the Senators effort, found goaltender Ray Emery to be sharp and focused. The Senators at least seemed more engaged in Thursday nights game, as opposed to the previous two embarrassments, which eventually cost Paddock his job.

Murray’s work is just underway now to try and find a way to have the Sens regain their early winning ways of October and November. The debut effort however, provided much the same result that has troubled this team for the last two months.

The loss was the Sens seventh in nine games and the fifteenth losing effort in twenty two, a trend which would put them in dire straits as far as repeating as Eastern Conference representatives in the Stanley Cup.

Philadelphia Inquirer--Flyers win 2d in a row

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