Monday links: Spezza leads sparkling offence while Columbus laments ‘hideous’ loss to Ottawa

Ottawa Senators new and old were all over the interwebs this weekend after the team pulled off a stunning comeback win against the sad-sack Columbus Blue Jackets this weekend. Are the Jackets’ playoff hopes dead already? Can Ottawa actually score? Is Brian Elliott a good goalie again?

Monday links: Spezza leads sparkling offence while Columbus laments ‘hideous’ loss to Ottawa
Matt Puempel. (Julie Oliver/OttawaCitizen)

Ottawa Senators new and old were all over the interwebs this weekend after the team pulled off a stunning comeback win against the sad-sack Columbus Blue Jackets this weekend.

Here we go:

The fallout continues after Columbus somehow managed to lose in regulation time despite holding a one-goal lead with less than a minute left here Saturday night. Our own Ken Warren takes a look at the Jackets’ horrendous record in the first round at the NHL draft. I’ll give you a summary: Rick Nash is very good. After that … *cricket sounds*.

Bob Hunter at the Columbus Dispatch says exactly what I was thinking after Saturday night’s game. Columbus may well be out of the playoffs before the end of October, a shocking development for a team in a non-hockey market with (according to www.capgeek.com) the second-highest payroll in the NHL this season. This isn’t just a hockey issue, it’s a money issue. The Blue Jackets have reportedly been bleeding cash for years, so what do they do? Ditch the youth movement and spend like drunken sailors. Writes Hunter, who referred to Saturday’s loss to the ‘bad’ Senators as ‘hideous’: It’s time for management and/or ownership to do something to show dispirited fans that they’re not taking this mess lightly. It’s time to let the Jackets’ few remaining loyalists know that somebody at the top cares what’s going on. You don’t do that with $3 nachos. Somebody up there has to demonstrate that everyone knows there is a problem on the ice, on the bench or in the front office — or all of the above — and then at least try to rectify the problem. Ouch. Truth hurts though.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. There is supposedly a rumour out there that the Calgary Flames are interested in Daniel Alfredsson. Okay. Unless the Flames somehow stop piddling around the bottom of the Western Conference and get themselves into President’s Trophy contention, the idea he would ever consider going there (and the team will not shop him unless he consents, which he hasn’t) is beyond absurd. If Alfredsson ever agreed to a move in order to get a shot at the Cup, it would be to a team that has a prayer of, you know, winning the Cup.

Jason Spezza’s strong start hasn’t gone unnoticed, as NHL.com identified him as one of its five players on the way up. Spezza has 11 points in eight games and sits third in NHL scoring, one point ahead of teammate Milan Michalek and three up on 16th-ranked Erik Karlsson. Hey, wasn’t Ottawa supposed to have a lot of trouble scoring this season? The Senators are eighth in the NHL in goals per game. In the interest of focusing on the positive for a moment, I won’t trouble you with the Senators’ rank in goals against per game.

Here’s a nice story about how well former Senator Chris Kelly is fitting in with the Boston Bruins. Fans here know Kelly as a versatile, hard-working player with strong leadership skills, something people in Boston didn’t figure out until later. Writes Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, the press did a collective shrug when the trade was announced last season. Now? Kelly…has woven himself into the Black ’n’ Gold fabric, embodying the hard-working, hard-to-play-against ethic that the team espouses and becoming one of the cornerstones of the leadership group. He’s been a winger, a center, a penalty-killer and anything else coach Claude Julien has asked. And so with the B’s struggling out of the gate and Julien looking to shake things up, it didn’t come as a huge shock that the coach tabbed Kelly, typically a third-line centerman, to slip between first-line caliber wingers Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin. And the results from that line have been about as good as could be expected: two games, five goals and an awakened Lucic.

Hey remember Brian Elliott, main tank commander with the Colorado Avalanche? Well, he’s with the Blues now, and he’s good at hockey again.

Last one — I have a Mika Zibanejad jersey to give away to some lucky fan. Go here for deets.

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