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All in the Timing For Senators

 All in the Timing For Senators

SENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators hockey written by OLMSports Dave Gross.


Feature photo Courtesy NHLI via Getty Image

A few years back, I saw a brilliant production of the Broadway show All in the Timing.

Basically it was a series of one-act plays detailing relationships; how they work at times and how they mostly don't, based on the timing.

This is probably a roundabout way of getting go my point, but here we go.

This weekend in Ottawa was All in the Timing Part II.

Ottawa Senators' owner Eugene Melnyk could not be more wrong in regards to his sense of timing.

He would have fit right in to the show.

Melnyk took to the platform earlier in the week - prodded by reporters' questions - to talk about the potential of a club move, the Erik Karlsson contract 'crisis,' the suddenly shifting nature of the development of a new rink in LeBreton Flats and of course the potential to sell the Senators.

Don't get me wrong, because Melnyk was not wrong in essentially saying if the fans don't start buying tickets, the Senators might morph into the new Quebec Nordiques.

In essence: By-bye Ottawa.

"If it doesn't look good here, it could look very, very nice somewhere else, but I'm not suggesting that right now. All I'm saying is that I would never sell the team," Melnyk told the gang of reporters.

"Here we're fighting everyday to sell a ticket, honest to God. When you get to the third round of the playoffs and you're begging people to buy a ticket something's wrong with that picture so we're just hoping that changes."

As for the development and installment at LeBreton, Melnyk had this to say to the Canadian Press.

"I'm all in, but it wouldn't be a disaster for us at all if LeBreton didn't happen," said Melnyk. "We need something to happen at one point. Something's got to break somewhere and I mean a positive break. We're just basically sitting it out, working through with the (National Capital Commission), and they've been co-operative and reasonable and we're just going to try to continue to get that completed. I don't trust anything happening our way necessarily."

Point well taken Eugene, but your timing truly sucked.

Ottawa was on the verge of celebrating 100 years of hockey as the Montreal Canadiens were to take on Ottawa on the outside ice at Lansdowne Park.

The city was in a celebratory mood, but this really shook the foundations and the national media rightfully jumped all over it.

Again, he's not wrong . . . but he should have just deferred to answering for a less commemorative occasion.

This put a real damper on a special weekend.

NEWS, NOTES AND NOTIONS:  Hockey News (THN) senior writer Ken Campbell was a little more vitriolic with this tweet: "The NHL would have you believe these outdoor games are about going back to hockey's grassroots. And nothing says grassroots more than a billionaire owner mocking his team's fans and threatening relocation if he doesn't get an arena deal." . . . As per the match-up itself on Saturday night, I'm not a fan of these 'sideshow events,' but the game had great pace and the fans absolutely loved it. Well done to all involved . . .  Karlsson was an absolute riot during the proceedings, singing along to YMCA and basically just having a ton of fun. Hard not to like the Ottawa captain . . . When Ottawa gets the lead, it's a great testament to the strength of coach Guy Boucher's defensive system. The problem is when the Senators aren't out to the lead . . . Ottawa is still far out from a playoff spot which makes this upcoming week key before the Christmas break. Stacking the numbers, a win at home against Minnesota Tuesday is a must. Tampa is the cream of the crop by a mile in the Eastern Conference - Ottawa visits Thursday. Florida hosts the Senators on Saturday. Another must win . . . As Steve Simmons pointed out in the Toronto Sun, the trickle-down effect of Auston Matthews (concussion?) being out long-term is the drop in play of fellow youngsters Mitchell Marner and Willy Nylander. It's concerning . . . Toronto used to be the most entertaining team to watch in the NHL, I'm switching allegiances to Winnipeg. This team can bolt . . . Sure would like to see more of Tampa though on the available networks.

THE WEEK AHEAD:

Tuesday, Dec.19: Minnesota at Ottawa (7pm)

Thursday, Dec. 21: Ottawa at Tampa (7:30 pm)

Saturday, Dec. 23: Ottawa at Florida (7 pm)