Our Fair Advantage And Martin Fails Miserably.
posted Apr 12, 2004 at 09:56PM
Ever since the secong period against the Washington Capitals (the year we surprised New Jersey in the play-offs) I have been of the belief that Jacque Martin did not have the tools to lead the Sens to a Cup. If we had a coach like Nolan (the ex Buffalo Sabres coach-I am unsure of his name) our playoff record would be much different.
Nothing since then has made me reconsider. The short version is that Martin, in his soul, is a "systems man"..even line changes are reduced to a time based event. ( How many promising rushes have been nullified by players having to give the puck up just to change lines?)
A systems based team means we will always get consistent performance during the regular season but always come up short in the intesity that are the playoffs
The playoffs require a better understanding of the intangibles and Martin fails miserably.
One as a systems guy he has an innate distrust of natural talen. The Spezza mind games is a case in point. When you are the team's fourth leading scorer and you plus/minus is the second best amongst forwards, you shouldn't have to worry about being benched.
It is not just taking Spezza out, but by having to keep White in, Martin broke up the Smolinski, Alfredson, Bondra line, which was the one hot line during the last five games of the regular season. White, a local boy has not been able to put the puck through the perverbial barn door.
And when he puts Spezza in he does it at the expense of Vermette perhaps the most talented player on the Sens team. Just look at his goals and assists during the strectch drive. Even to the untrained eye Vermette has "Havlat" written all over him.
Of course another example is how Ottawa never get
our fair advantage in terms of officiating. I know blame the refs is a last refuge..but really.Toronto cannot go 30 seconds without wrapping thier arms around a guy who doesn't have the puck When we enter the zone it gets almost comical...puck carriers are getting tackled...other forwards are being grappled and slew-footed...and nothing happens....Martin just stands there and says nothing in the press conferences
I would have a tape and I would be showing every single non-call.. at least 30 of them are of the blantant variety...I would eat the fine and embarrass the referr on national televeison.
Look at Quinn who has got the crybaby routine down pat and argues every call no matter how blatant the penaltty. HE acts like a coach that will do anythiung to win.
The refs no if even if they make a bad call against the Sens nobody is going to scream too loud.
Let's face it. Last year we beat, but did not dominate a weak Islanders team, and beat a Flyer's team in complete dissarray (remember thier players were shooting pucks at thier goalies heads during warm-ups)
The New Jersey series shouldn't have been close, and the benching of Spezza during that series. The fact that Muckler had to go in and give the pep talks says everything.
In my mind the sooner we get rid of Martin the sooner we can make up for lost time.
Arm Chair Line-up Suggestion
Alfredson, Somilinski, Bondra
Hossa, Bonk, Varada
Schaeffer, Fisher, Havlat
Spezza, Neil, Vermette
There is no team on planet earth that could stop us