Saturday, September 13, 2008

Food for Thought and for Smiles

Ruutu's welcome to Ottawa, Zubov's desire to play in the NHL, Foligno and Bass' chances of becoming Ottawa mainstays, Redden's mourning ends, a look at the potential third jersey the Sens might be forced to wear, a brief recap of the rookies' victory over Florida, and an amusing diversion from Russia (likely without love).

Jarkko Ruutu was popular with the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, and the Ottawa Senators webpage, scoring three very similar stories. He sounds excited to be joining the Senators, and eager to return to the excitement of playing in a Canadian city, Vancouver being his last stop up North. He admits to never being afraid to do whatever it takes to win, and that every game counts. It's good to know that there won't ever be a night off from Ruutu, who could easily challenge Neil for the most frustrating player on the ice, and I expect he will be keeping the opposition frustrated far more than we Sens fans. Just as he admits to being proud of his role as a hard-working agitator, Murray too agrees that he wants to see that role from Ruutu, and if the support he's gotten from every team he's played for is any indication, we can all be excited to see what he will bring to the team.

Both the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa Sun find themselves asking Zubov just how strong his desire to play in the NHL is. In Ilya, we find a man dedicated enough that he chose not to return home to Russia and his friends for the summer, opting instead to practice here, alongside Neil, and to work hard every day. That in itself should keep him high in the callup lineup, but more pleasing still is that he admittedly accepts the possibility that our NHL roster is too full, and he is prepared to continue his development in the AHL. Another Yashin, he is most certainly not, and his character should speak volumes of him, and just how much he does (or will) belong on the team, especially considering Murray's constant push for it from his players.

From the Ottawa Senators website, it is again suggested that Bass and Foligno have the edge on making the Sens' roster, due to experience and familiarity. It is suggested that Bass might not make the cut, as it might be better for him to continue developing in the AHL where he might score more, rather than on one of the Senators' less offensive lines. I can understand this, seeing as how we have plenty of veterans who can contribute as Bass is expected to do, and it would be nice to see Bass get a chance to develop into a bigger offensive threat than his physical role would suggest. I can't, however, see Foligno being sent down, not considering the strides he's made, and just how good he looked at season's end, especially entering the zone and curling around with the puck to wait for help, just as Alfie so often succeeds in doing.

The Ottawa Citizen has it that Redden is ready to move on. On the dreadful 07-08 season, his new deal and marriage have helped him move on. "I've already erased that from my memory bank." Glad to hear it Redden; we have erased your disappointing play from our memory banks as well, but we will eagerly watch to see if some of your former teammates might make it an interesting matchup the next time we meet.

Someone help me should the Ottawa Sun indeed have the official Sens third jersey pinned down. I've always loved the Sens' classic profile logo, also enjoying their third effort to remake the stalwart Senator. This jersey though, so absent any creativity or distinctiveness, is truly a bizarre and disappointing sight to see. I can only hope that it is a decoy, and that the true third jersey might bring back a more palatable, hopefully classic and enduring look to the team.

The Ottawa Senators rookies triumphed today in Kitchener, beating the host Florida Panthers squad 4-2 at the Aud in Kitchener, a great way to start the three day round robin tourney (although the goal they allowed less than 2 minutes into the game might have had some fooled early on). Forgive me my delays and lateness, but sometime early next week I hope to post my thoughts on all the games, which I have had the the pleasure of sating my hockey hunger with.

As a final diversion, the Citizen's James Gordon's hockey capital blog brings us some amusement from across the sea. If the thought of seeing Emery in a yellow jersey, allowing goal after goal, brings you pleasure (or if you want to see how a real spartan show is put on, no joke), I suggest you take a break and have a look.

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