Some observations from a Battle of Ontario debacle that may have finally shovelled dirt on this rivalry once and for all, not to mention broken my spirit as a hockey fan.
- The Senators are terrible. I mean, the Leafs are terrible, and they still had a relatively easy time with Ottawa last night. Toronto is bad in a "well, maybe kind of sort of getting better" way. Ottawa is bad in an "abandon all hope ye who enter here" kind of way. Luckily, they have Buffalo next and you can always count on the Sabres to roll over and die in any post-Pominville game against a struggling Sens team.
- Hey, you know what else is terrible? Leafs/Sens games. I'm seeing lots of stories in the papers and online today describing the game as "gritty". Really? That was gritty? A half dozen guys on each team all trying to play the agitator role, trying to get bumped into and then flopping to the ice and looking for a referee? We call that gritty now? Tie Domi is rolling over in his grave.
- Word is Sidney Crosby wanted to play in last night's game but couldn't find anyone with two balls to punch.
- Speaking of which... so Chris Neil thinks that even though the Sens dumped Brian McGrattan and signed Jarkko Ruutu, he should still try to be a "pest" who runs from Kimbo Hollweg but goes after Ian White? Really? He's thinks that's his ticket to sticking around in the NHL? OK, just checking.
- It's official: Mike Fisher has entered the "golden boy" zone where announcers will refer to him as one of the best players on the ice no matter how awful he is. Yes, he threw some hits. He was also pointless, a minus, and lead both teams in giveaways. Also, he makes $4.2M/year. Through 2013. But he's scored three goals this season, so obviously none of this can be his fault.
- Yes, Jason Spezza deserved a spearing major based on the rulebook, but he barely touched Dominic Moore and Moore's hunched-over attempt to sell an injury was embarassing. Remember when Toronto didn't do that stuff? At least against Ottawa?
- And while I don't expect or want Tomas Kaberle to drop his gloves or even give Spezza so much as a girlish shove, wouldn't it be nice if his instinctive first reaction to seeing a teammate get speared wasn't to throw his arms in the air and look for a referee to whine to? Kaberle is the best player on the team, but sometimes he reminds you that he's the holdover from the old "leadership" core.
- I'll admit, I get way too excited whenever a Leaf goalie tries to score a goal. Unfortunately, Toskala's effort ended up fluttering harmlessly into the air and was easily gloved aside by a defenceman. You know what that means: he could play on the third line of either of these teams!