Friday, December 19, 2008

Draws are in for the knockout stages of the Champions League and I'm going to cry. Why? Take a look!

Liverpool v Real Madrid
Juventus v Chelsea
Panathanaikos v Villareal
Bayern Munich v Sporting Lisbon
Porto v Atletico
Barcelona v Lyon
Roma v Arsenal
Man U v Inter Milan

THAT'S SO MEAN! This means that after the knockout stages I'll potentially only have one team to cheer for. Well, it better be two because Chelsea better get their act together to beat Juventus. But whyyyyyy or whyyyyy does Liverpool have to play Real Madrid??? WHY?!!!!! That's so cruel. I'm so unhappy now... *sniffles* I wonder what the chances of Barca and Man U getting knocked out at this stage are? Yeah, about as high as the stupid Maple Losers winning the Stanley Cup.... *wails more*

Ahem, anyway... in other useless news it would appear that Carbo's not the only one juggling his team's lines around. Craig Hartsburg has finally come to the conclusion that the Sens supposed top offensive line - and pretty much only line that can score- isn't working anymore. Brilliant observation! The Sens - lead by Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza - had last year topped the league in goals but this year, the players seem to have gone to sleep (and if what I've been hearing is true, Spezza is particularly guilty of going to sleep this season). Look, I'm no expert on hockey and I really don't like to watch the Sens play, but I have noticed when they have played that the only people who seem to be scoring are Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza and even then they haven't exaclty been scoring lately - and that has to be a problem. You simply can't have just one line that scores goals because when that line doesn't work you're doomed. Even Jason Smith agrees with me:

"One, two or three players can't lead a team on a nightly basis. The League is so competitive that you need everybody playing; you need your whole roster competing at a high level and working and we've been inconsistent with that." [from <here>]

I wonder if he's regretting leaving the Flyers now...?

Apparently this news wasn't greeted too well by the some. The Ottawa Citizen ran an article with the headline 'Hartsburg slots three stars with plumbers' when the news broke. To me, it seems like the Sens problem is that they've relied on these three guys too much for too long and now that it's not working everyone's freaking out. That most people believe that the Sens are indeed Team Alfredsson/Heatley/Spezza and that they are just drop-dead amazing is proved in the same article that ran the aforementioned headline.

"Welcome to the latest Ottawa Senators reality show: Two Plumbers and a Craftsman.

In the first episode, tonight versus the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, Senators coach Craig Hartsburg is hoping the plumbers -- checkers Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Neil -- can lead the craftsman, Jason Spezza, by example, helping the Senators generate something positive."

I'm not saying that Ruutu and Neil are extremely talented players but is it fair to the rest of the team to be saying it like that? It seriously sounds like everyone thinks that only the "Big Three" are any good. It gets better though. Look:

"The radical line shuffling has the potential to be many things, from a farce to a comedy to a drama, developments worth watching.

It certainly carries the look of desperation, but that is the situation the Senators faced when they arrived here late yesterday afternoon."

Radical line shuffling? Desperation? Good god, there really is a huge emphasis on those three playing together on the same line. Oh well. As someone who had to sit through all of Carbo's musical lines for the past... what, two months now? I find those words really funny. Maybe now the Sens can move away from being a one-line scoring team. Or maybe they won't. I'm pretty sure that Hartsburg tried this move before but he changed his mind for whatever reason. Well, he seems to mean business this time so we'll see.

Later: Guess that idea didn't work too well on the first try. Sens fall to Devils 5-1. Oddly enough they had around the same shots on goal. Not that I was watching the game... I was watching the junior teams playing some pre-competition thing. Team Canada won 4-1 over Sweden. Real stuff starts on the 26th. Keep trying Sens!

So now that I've just spent waaaay too much time yapping about a team I couldn't care less about....

*kicks the Flyers*

Thanks to the Flyers, we've lost Andrei Kostitsyn for tomorrow's game against the Sabres. I missed the injury happening but apparently something is banged up from a knee on knee collision with Hartnell last night. Apparently there is no damage but he's still out. Great. Maxwell is still around so he will be in the lineup tomorrow.

Continuing the useless news:

So we all knew that team Spain and Team Argentina lost their head coaches for the Davis Cup, right? Right. Mancini of course couldn't stay after Argentina lost terribly to Spain and Sanchez couldn't stay because he had a spat with the head of the Spanish tennis association or something like that. Too bad about Sanchez though. I liked him. Anyway, I am now remembering that I failed to mention that both countries have now announced new head coaches! Yahoo... It's not called useless info for nothing! So Spain has gone with Albert Costa. He's won a few titles during his career, including Roland Garros and he was widely rumored to replace Sanchez. And Argentina went with Modesto Vazquez. I've never heard of him either. Apparently he played for Argentina in '68 and '70.

Good luck guys. You're going to need it. Especially Vazquez with the Argentine players all hating each other if the media reports are to be believed.


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