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Senators get Smoked, New York 5, Ottawa 1
posted Feb 8, 2006 at 10:03PM

How did that old Oxfam commercial go? "Hope Vanishes ...Despair Triumphs".

There is a saying which says "there are no bad battalions, there are only bad officers" This certainly applies to the Ottawa Senators, who are one of the most talent rich teams in the league being led by an utter failure of a coach.

I was so happy when Jacque Martin was let go. We still had a young team and I thought we would finally start making up for lost time. Now I have to wake up to the nightmare that Murray is worse by several orders of magnitude. It is more than mediocre hockey knowledge. Murray is spiteful, petty, a natural busy body; a shriveled old crone who has no business leading men in a competitive environment. The type that will blame everyone else, even when the fault is his, the little boy who cuts a fart in class and points his fingers at others. He is a man who prefers earnest mediocrity to pre-natural skill. Worst of all he is a man who panics when things don't go his own way.

He came into Ottawa knowing full well the range of criticisms that had been leveled at Martin, and he had enough survival skills to do and say the exact opposite. And what we got was a Senators team that finally was playing up to its potential.

But the minute he started trying to put his stamp on things, he started sucking the life out of this team. Ottawa looks completely disjointed not knowing which way is up. Murray took line tinkering to new levels, changing them even on the same shift. A player would be on the ice for 20 seconds, get pulled off, and then 20 seconds later get thrown out again.

But of course his piece de resistance has been Spezza, who must be having flash-backs of the Martin head-games.

Yes he got caught pinching and they potted one. You don't have to say anything here, especially if you have spent the last two days force feeding him lectures. You just pat him on the back and let him know that he won't be taking Chara's place on defence any time soon. You make a joke of it, and get your star center to relax and get his head back in the game.

But there on TV you could see Murray giving Spezza the gears and Spezza looking completely befuddled and fucked up. On the very next shift Spezza gets the puck at the blue-line with no one around him. What does he do? He chips it in. Spezza never chips it in. And worse he goes in after it and offers himself up as a sacrificial lamb for Murray's alter and gets cold-cocked. All rubber legs he needed help to just get to the dressing room and never returned to the game.

It takes a real asshole to ruin a cocky young player as talented as Spezza, but Murray shows he is up to the challenge.

Right now Ottawa only has one man standing between it and a Stanley Cup. That man is Brian Murray.

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