• By: Dave Gross

Tkachuk ka-chunks the opposition, repeatedly

To Johnny (. . . and Jenny) Senator Fan, a few pressing internal thoughts and proposals and questions that need your attention.

Have a look.

  1. Brady Tkachuk is a somewhat captivating character.

This could be the understatement of the year. The second-year winger is kind of the anti-Mister Rogers. Instead of attracting good will and pleasant thoughts, Tkachuk thrives on generating contempt. Just 20, Brady has already cheesed off pretty much all of the Eastern Conference. Case in point there Dragnet was Saturday afternoon’s Brady blender of spite tossed the Philadelphia Flyers way. Tkachuk is rating high on the naughty side of Santa’s list. Good on him.

  1. Could the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s play kiss-and-make-up one more time?

There was a day, not too long ago in a galaxy far, far away when the thought of a Toronto Maple Leaf-Ottawa Senator trade was akin to landing coq au vin at McDonald’s. Since the spotting of Connor Brown, Ron Hainsey, Nikita Zaitsev, Tyler Ennis and D.J. Smith in the nation’s capital, the menu has indeed changed. So what about this gem of an idea (please throw out all the financials here, this is fantasy stuff): How about shipping fan pin cushion Mark Borowiecki to Toronto? Boro’s on the last year of his deal and there’s not much room for him past 2020 here in Ottawa. He’s just what Toronto needs – if they make the playoffs. Besides, imagine Toronto Mayor John Tory’s face when he learns of the acquisition of Boro-Cop to tackle the city’s growing crime infestation.

  1. Is Ottawa possibly spawning a return to the golden age of pugilism?

More to the point, will Ottawa now make it necessary for teams it runs roughshod over to dress tough guys? (Geez, I hope so.) The Flyers were face-washed and pummeled (although, yeah, they did win, but still . . .) repeatedly Saturday and the fans were not happy. This was Philly, man! Freakin’ Philly! C’mon man. Good point by the lads calling the game to point out the toughest Flyers were in the management suite in Dave Brown, Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren.

  1. Adding Taylor Hall makes Colorado the Cup favourites.

Undoubtedly. This team’s killer pace and grit and glut of stars makes the idea of trading for the former NHL MVP delightful. Adding Hall to a mix that is headed by the league’s second-best player (or is he first…hmm?) Nathan MacKinnon would be devastating to the rest of the wannabes. The above, though, is all dependant on the play of goalie Philipp Grubauer whose numbers are pleasing but not overwhelming. Mind you, that’s about all this club would need if it grabs Hall.

  1. Toronto’s Raptors fall into Ottawa Senator territory.

No, not the record. It’s all about attention. Face it Johnny and Jenny, once you get south of Kemptville there isn’t much of a focus or interest in the Senators. Once you get west of Oakville, there isn’t much focus or interest in the Raptors. Not yet anyway. And these are the champs? Losing Kawhi sure stings, sizzle-wise. The standings show a slightly different story as Toronto hovers around the top of the east standings, even with this slight skid lately. If this continues and Nick Nurse isn’t coach of the year, I’ll bring my own coq au vin to McDonald’s.

  1. Good things grow, in Ontario

Especially in the Bay of Quinte region. The Belleville Senators rank second in goals scored in the AHL. Guess who’s leading that league in scoring (I just know you’re going to guess it’s a Belleville guy, right)? That’d be Drake Batherson and his 31 points. Josh Norris – one of the 17 prospects Ottawa snagged in the Erik Karlsson deal – is averaging nearly a point per game while former Gatineau Olympiques Vitaly Abramov is following suit. It’s not all sunshine unfortunately. The goaltending, particularly prospect Filip Gustavsson, needs to improve.

NEWS, NOTES AND NOTIONS: Well. It finally happened. The Toronto Maple Leafs registered a fighting major Saturday night, becoming the last team in the league to do so in their 31st game. Somewhere Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren are shaking their heads . . . We’re past the US Thanksgiving benchmark which more or less (unless you’re St. Louis) tells us that the teams IN the playoff picture are likely to stay there, while those OUT, ditto. This is not looking promising for O Canada in the Eastern Conference. Both the Habs and Leafs are five points out while the Sens are, well, you know . . . Quick personal note (‘They’re all personal notes Dave, that’s why it’s called a column,’ ahem): Terrific hire by 1310NEWS this week bringing in erstwhile CFRA host Rob Snow. Radio is never supposed to be dull; Rob is never dull and is in fact one of this city’s premier journalists. Rob starts up in early January. As Frasier says: “I’m listening.”

The week ahead for the Senators:

Monday, Dec. 9: Boston at Ottawa (7:30 pm)

Wednesday, Dec. 11: Ottawa at Montreal (7:30 pm)

Saturday, Dec. 14: Columbus at Ottawa (1 pm)