Early Season Salute
October 11, 2009 by Big Tony
I have to give an early season salute to the Ottawa Senators. I didn’t (and still don’t) think they would be very good this year but I have to give credit where credit is due. The Senators are 3-1-0 which puts them atop the Northeast Division. Granted, the Senators have defeated three teams that are hardly playoff teams in Atlanta, Toronto, and the Islanders. Nevertheless, when you’re a team that has experienced the problems the Senators have over the last two seasons you take what success you’ve had and run with it. Will they build off of this and ultimately make it to the playoffs? Not likely. But they have won three of four so far and as a football coach once said you are what your record says you are and right now Ottawa is a 3-1 first place team.
Another early season salute to the Calgary Flames. There is a lot of pressure on them to win and win now; that said this is about as good a start as one could have hoped for in Calgary. Not only do the Flames start 4-1 but three of those wins are against division opponents including two against provincial rival Edmonton. Division wins always carry a little extra weight in the standings but it’s especially sweet to take two from their biggest rival in pretty short order. Mikka Kiprusoff has been solid thus far posting a 4-0 record as back up Curtis McElhinney was in net for the loss. Perhaps the best part of all in this strong start is that Jerome Iginla is fourth on the team in scoring, which means other guys are getting the job done. If Calgary wants to continue to be successful that’s the type of production they need to get from Iginla’s supporting cast; so far so good.
On the flip-side, an early season razz to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Nobody reasonably expected Toronto to be a great team but some thought they would be competitive and possibly contend for a playoff spot. But so far they have not shown up. Toronto has zero wins (one point thanks to an OT loss on opening night) and have looked terrible for the most part. The one good thing they have going is new goaltender Jonas Gustavsson who is currently injured which negates that for now and Vesa Toskala is dreadful. They’re so-so on offense, not so good on defense, and have an awful penalty killing unit, ergo he Toronto Maple Leafs stink, the end.