Sens salute crowd

Canada is welcome to ride the Sens’ bandwagon, says Spezza


The Ottawa Senators would like to invite Canadians across the land to take a ride on its bandwagon.

“Lots of room, we’ve got a big one,” said forward Jason Spezza today, as per CP. (Gotta be a better way to say that.)

With the early exit of the Vancouver Canucks, the Sens are the country’s last hope to put an end to a Stanley Cup drought that’s lasted almost 20 years. A Canadian NHL team hasn’t won the Cup since 1993 when the Habs beat the Kings and Jurassic Park was on the verge of dominating the box office.

Ottawa is a likable underdog, full of players that work hard and stick up for each other. The team’s slogan is “family.” (Sort of like the Corleones, with Matt Carkner playing the role of Luca Brasi.)

Since 1993, a Canadian team has appeared in the Stanley Cup final five times (Vancouver twice, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa) and lost Game 7 four times. Only the 2007 Sens didn’t go the distance, losing in five to the Ducks.

In 2004, the Flames had a chance to beat Tampa Bay in Game 6, but fell in double overtime before the Lightning won Game 7.

Last year, the Canucks made it to the final, but didn’t exactly win over the rest of the country in the process.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

Jarret Stoll, Mats Zuccarello
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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.

This post will be updated if there’s video of that staggering sequence.

Welcome back, Babs: Red Wings chase Bernier

Mike Babcock
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Mike Babcock admitted that there might be a painful transformation as he tries to fix the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His old friends made that abundantly, painfully clear on Friday.

As of this writing, the Detroit Red Wings are up 4-0 on the Buds. Justin Abdelkader just completed a hat trick with James Reimer in net, so the subplot isn’t just about Jonathan Bernier having another tough start.

The big story might just be Detroit’s varied new line of Abdelkader, Dylan Larkin (who scored his first career goal) and Henrik Zetterberg. At the moment, they’ve combined for seven points.

This post will be updated if Detroit’s tribute video to Babcock surfaces.

Really, though, this beating has been about as ugly as this blanket so far.

Here’s video of Abdelkader’s hat trick: