Friday, December 21, 2007

The Merry Christmas Blog

Well, folks, it's finally that one special day...

My last day of work before the holidays!! WOO-HOO!!! My cheeks are rosy with excitement, I've got tiny Christmas trees dangling from my ears, and I have a gigantic smile on my face. Gosh, I just love this time of year!!

In case I'm not back on-line between now & "The Big Day", I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa is good to all of you, and all your Christmas wishes come true!! Eat lots of yummy treats, have a few festive drinks, enjoy opening every single gift, and best of all, soak in the satisfaction of watching your loved ones open the gifts that you got for them. Also, I wish you peace, health & happiness in 2008. Have fun ringing in the New Year!!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Know It's Almost Christmas When...

When you were a kid, did you get so excited for Christmas that you had trouble sleeping for days beforehand? Did you get butterflies so bad that on Christmas Eve, you spent hours tossing and turning, just dreaming of the gifts and the wondeful excitement that was just a sunrise away?

I did. And I still do. And it's already hit me.

Last night, for some odd reason, my eyes popped open and it was still dark in my room. I glanced at my alarm clock, and the bright neon-green numbers declared that it was only 3:48 AM. Instantly, my brain went into overdrive as it started to churn up images of holiday treats, beautifully wrapped gifts, the stockings bursting with little treasures, the family and friends that mean so much. Just thinking about it all made me so giddy.

And soooooooo not sleepy.

Christmas is still 5 days away. If this is what I'm dealing with now, imagine how hard it will be to sleep on Christmas Eve!!

However, now that I'm an adult, I've discovered the perfect solution to Christmas Eve insomnia: Alcohol.

A few drinks at Patti's, along with a few shooters of Jagermeister or Tequila Rose around Randy's bar in the basement, which has become a bit of a tradition in recent years, really do the trick. By the time I get my butt home around 2 in the morning, I've had enough booze that I pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow. The trick is to not get too sloppy drunk. When you do that, Christmas day is ruined by a hang-over. So you've gotta be careful, just have enough to get a nice buzz on, and before bed, drink lots of water and some Advil. It's the perfect remedy to ensure that my eyes don't snap open too early. By the time Christmas morning rolls around, I feel refreshed, not too groggy, and ready for the excitement of opening gifts and all the delicious foods awaiting me.

The problem is these days coming up to Christmas Eve. I can't get tanked for the next 4 nights in a row just so I sleep better, right? People would start calling me the Holiday Alcoholic. And I can't have that. Guess I'll just have to deal with my insomnia another way!

Only 5 more days...!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Sens Roll On

Remember not so long ago I was starting to panic a little when the Sens were mired in a 7-game losing streak?

Not so anymore. Last night, after beating the Boston Bruins, their biggest competition thus far in the Northeast Division, they lengthened their win streak to 6, making it even easier to forget that long, torcherous slump. A win over the Bruins was very important, considering they were only 6 points behind the Sens in the standings. A win for the B's would bring them only 4 points behind the Sens. I know we're still not even at the half-way point, but maintining this cushion over the rest of the teams in their division should be a goal for the Sens, especially after they worked so hard to build their lead early in the season.

So with the win, the Sens move 8 points ahead of Boston in the standings, giving them a little more breathing room. Ottawa opened the scoring with a goal from Jason Spezza, and then I took a little nap. When I woke up between the second and third period, I had missed Chuck Kobasew's tying goal and Luke Richardson' go-ahead marker, his first in a Sens uniform, and his first since 2005. I'm sure making the moment even sweeter for Lucky Luke was the fact that his father, Shawville native Glen Richardson, was in attendance to witness it. (He is travelling with the team on this current road trip).

Spezza potted another on a 4-minute power play, and with time winding down, it seemed the deal was sealed. But not so fast... Boston scored with about 50 seconds left on the clock, making things a little more interesting for the dying seconds, but the Sens held on for the win. Martin Gerber again looked strong between the pipes, and it was a solid victory over Zdeno Chara and his Boston teammates.

Now, following the game, Sportsnet switched over to it's highlight loop, Connected, where they promptly began with a run-down of the Leafs loss to Carolina. Turns out the boys in Blue & White held a 2-0 advantage over the 'Canes with a minute and a half left to play, and Carolina came back to score 2 and then beat the Laffs in OT. How sweet it is!!

It was the icing on the cake for me!


6 more days...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Countdown Is On...

Can you believe it's only 1 more week until Christmas? Just 7 days...Wheeee!!

Actually, if we want to get technical, today's almost over. As I type, the clock indicates it is 3:05 PM, so this workday is winding down quickly, and that means there's only 6 days until Christmas!!

I just can't wait...December has been flying, but somehow, these last few days seem to drag out the longest. I still have lots of Christmas movies to watch, and plenty of odds and ends to do before the "big day", and yet, I'm still finding myself twiddling my thumbs, thinking Christmas might never come.

Of course, I have my parnoia, which I've blogged about before, that I'm still dealing with. I'm still terrified I'm going to get sick and miss the whole she-bang. Christmas only comes once a year, so the thought of missing it makes me panic.

And then there are other silly little fears - like, what if people don't like the gifts I got them? What if it rains this weekend and it ruins my Christmas spirit? What if I don't get to watch all the movies & specials I want to see? What if the weather is bad and we can't make it to Aunt Marion's on Boxing Day? Many what-ifs to cause unneccessary holiday angst.

But most of all, there is this wondeful excitement, an air of anticipation, which is only going to increase & intensify as the week progresses.

Christmas is almost here!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Keith Urban & Survivor Re-Caps

It was a wild & crazy weekend in the World of Jill, so we'll start with Friday night and the Keith Urban concert at Scotiabank Place.

First of all, let me make one thing clear: Urban was awesome. The show was spectacular, he was at his sexy best, and he had everyone on their feet from start to finish.

Oh - wait. Sorry. Not everyone. Section 209 never got to their feet. Ever. And just take a guess at where our seats were? Yup. Section 209.

I've never been told to sit down at a concert before. But that's exactly what happened on Friday night, after Keith took to the stage for his first song. Immediately, Stacy, Caryl, Sarah & I leapt to our feet, hooting and hollering and ready to party. It wasn't long before I started to hear people yelling at us to sit down. It quickly became clear that we were in the grumpy old people section, and we eventually moved to the empty section next to ours, where a few other people had moved so that they could stand up and have fun without being roared at and glared at by all the losers we were sitting with. Like, seriously. You're at a concert, people. If you wanted to sit back, stay at home and watch a Keith Urban DVD. Talk about party poopers!!!

Once we moved, we definitely had a lot more fun. Keith played all his hits, with highlights for me being "Stupid Boy", "Somebody Like You", and "You Look Good in my Shirt", as well as a sweet rendition of "White Christmas" that he played to kick off his encore. He made full use of his stage and the long cat-walk out into the crowd, even spending part of the show with his entire band doing an acoustic set out on a platform at centre ice. The crowd ate it up and it was obvious everyone was having a blast (everyone, that is, except for Section 209).

The best part was late in the show, while we were up & dancing in our new empty section, which was right at the side of the stage, Keith came right out at that side of the stage and we were waving at him, and he pointed right at us...very cool! Made the move worthwhile (even though it still pisses me off that we had to move after paying $95 for our original seats).

Now, on to my Survivor re-cap:

I haven't blogged on Survivor in quite a while, so we'll just fast-forward to where we were at going into last night's finale: My favourite, James, was voted out a few weeks ago after he failed to use one of the two hidden Immunity Idols he had in his possession. Otherwise, he should've been a shoo-in for the Final 3. He never should've trusted his alliance!

However, once James left, I quickly switched my cheers to Todd, the flight attendant from Utah who has a dual-citizenship and comes to Canada often with his mom, who is from Scarborough. So luckily for me, Todd was in the Final 4 last night with Denise the lunch lady, Amanda the beauty queen, and Courtney the waitress. I wasn't sure how Todd would fare out with three girls going into the finale, but I happened to fall asleep about 20 minutes in, and I woke up just as the Reunion Show was starting, just as Jeff Probst was revealing Todd as the winner of Survivor: China! So yeah...this re-cap kinda sucks, but I did enjoy the Reunion, so I'll just talk about that I guess.

I was pleased to discover that I wasn't the only person in the world who fell in love with James. Probst talked about James' popularity with the viewers quite a bit, claiming he's probably the most popular player they've had on the show in a long time (I'm thinking since Colby or Rupert). James' likability translated into a big prize for him, despite the fact that he didn't finish in the top 4, as fans voted for him and he was awarded $100 K for being the most popular player.

Denise also came out with a little extra cash, after she revealed that her life since Survivor has been hell. She returned home and found that she had lost her job as the lunch lady at the school she worked at, and is now employed at night working as the janitor. Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind Survivor, heard her story and feeling terrible for her misfortune, told Jeff Probst on a commercial break that he personally wanted to give Denise and her family $50,000 to help her to get back on her feet.

Another of my favourite moments was when Denise explained her hairstyle, after being encouraged to do so by Probst. Denise has a very distinct mullet, which is a cut that is more often mocked than admired by most people. As it turns out, Denise needed to have short hair around her face because of her job around food in a school cafeteria, but because she also wanted to feel like a woman and look beautiful for her husband, she wanted to keep her long hair down her back. It was one of those "awwwww" moments when I realized why she styled her hair in such a hideous way.

Another interesting moment was when Jeff revealed that the next season of Survivor, which will begin in February, is going to be Fans vs. Favourites. They're bringing in a collection of super-fans who have studied the game from the beginning and have been dying to get on the show (much like Todd was), and they will be going up against favourite players from past seasons. Jeff didn't tell us who would be playing, but he did say at least one cast member from China would be back. (The way the camera lingered on James was a bit of a hint...Yay!!)

I suppose it would be too much to hope for Colby to return, as he's already played twice. I haven't had a whole lof of "favourites" over the past few years, so who knows who will be back. If James does return, he'll definitely be the one I'm rooting for!!

So in between Keith Urban and Survivor, it snowed. It snowed and snowed and snowed. But I'm panicking a little because on the Weather Network website, they're calling for rain on the weekend...Ahhhh! One of the guys here at the office has told me we now have enough snow that it would have to be 20 degrees for a week and rain steady for me to lose my snow, so he doesn't figure it will be a green Christmas.

My fingers are crossed!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I was just checking out Stuntman Stu's Blog ( and I found the following excerpt from today's post:

I'm flipping between that and the celeb obsessed which now has a show where you can watch stars act like a-holes on the Hollywood strip. What kills me is when a former A lister like Woody Harrelson who's done nothing worthwhile since Cheers ended 15 years ago, gets upset when there's a lens up in his face. Woody, if you don't like the cameras move to Quyon.

Yep. He mentioned Quyon in his Blog! Not sure Stu knows where Quyon is or anyone from my darling little hometown, or perhaps he just Googled the most absurd town names in the world and chose it and doesn't even realize he's just across the river from said village. Or maybe he does. But he's clearly not that familiar with our stomping grounds, or he'd know that if a celeb, even one as washed up as Woody Harrelson, showed up in Quyon, there's probably be more flashes going off than there ever would be on the Hollywood strip!!

Anyways, just had to share the snippet with you! :)

Shut-out for Marty Gerber *

So just when it seemed the Sens' goaltending situation was working itself out, with Ray Emery getting his 4th consecutive start last night in Carolina after back-stopping his team out of their 7-game slump, posting victories over Florida and Dallas, it took another unexpected turn.

While the Sens jumped out to the best start in NHL history, it was last year's flop, Martin Gerber, leading the charge with some outstanding netminding. Then the team hit the skids, and both he and Emery had some terrible outings. But it was Emery between the pipes, making some big stops in a shoot-out loss to Tampa Bay last week, so he got the start the next game vs. the Panthers, where they collected their first victory in 8 games. Then they had a very solid win over the Stars, and it seemed Emery had re-ascended the throne as this team's #1 goalie, as he was expected to be after taking them to the Stanley Cup Finals last spring.

But last night, less than 6 minutes in, after facing only 1 shot and with the Sens already up over the 'Canes 2-0, Ray Emery pulled himself, saying he had a hip injury.

Re-enter: Marty Gerber.

It's kind of funny - just when one or the other seems to be in total control, something happens and they swap positions yet again. Yesterday, it looked as though Emery was the go-to guy, but after last night's 6-0 romp over Carolina, with Gerber doing most of the work, it would appear that he's now in the driver's seat and will get the start tonight vs. Pittsburgh. Not bad for a guy who was only planning on getting one start on this current road trip.

It's sort of a relief to know the team has this luxury of two potential #1 goalies, even though they do eat up quite a chunk of the salary cap. With injuries and inconsistency, it's nice to know that chances are good at least one of them will be hot at any given time.

And last night, Darth Gerber was hot. Unfortunately, there will be an asterisk next to this shut-out for him. It's very unusual for a goaltender to leave the net while his team is winning, but that's exactly what happened last night when Emery pulled himself due to injury. So while Emery only played the first 6 minutes, he will be given credit for the win, even though Gerber played most of the game. And they both get credit for the shut-out, as they both did not allow any goals. A very unique situation, indeed.

As for the rest of the team - they were firing on all cylinders last night, completely shutting down Carolina. Dany Heatley potted two goals, and also scoring were Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, Shean Donovan, and Dean McAmmond, with his first on the season, giving the Sens a resounding 6-0 victory.

Another headline from this game was the second-period tilt between Mike Fisher and Scott Walker. Fisher, unhappy after Walker crashed into Gerber in his crease, went after the 'Canes' tough-guy in what my dad called "one of the best fights I've seen in a long time". A lot of punches were thrown, with Fisher eventually cutting Walker open, and hey, doesn't everyone like to see blood? Then the two of them were kinda of in a bear-hug when Walker head-butted Fisher. I don't think he quite connected the way he wanted to, and it wasn't that severe, but it was still a head-butt. After that, Fisher really went to town on him, clearly having the edge in the fight. Walker ended up with the 5-minute major and game misconduct for his head-butt, and the league will also be reviewing. There's a strong possibility that he'll be suspended for his actions.

So what more could you want in a hockey game if you're a Sens fan? An interesting turn of events in the goaltending "controversy", a big win that sort of put the exclamation mark on the statement "They're back!", and a big fight to boot. What a game!!

I likely will miss tonight's game as I have a grading for my orange belt at Karate, but I'm hoping they do the same to the Penguins tonight.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Blog is 200!!

Welcome, everyone, to the 200th post!!

Can ya believe it? 200 Blog posts over the past 15 months. I must admit, they haven't been as frequent over the past little while as I'd like, but the Blog has survived so much, it would be a shame to let it die. The number of people leaving comments has dwindled, my creative juices sometimes have a hard time flowing, and then there's this small little Internet phenomenon called "Facebook" that occupies much of my on-line time.

Yet still, the Blog prevails!

Thanks to all who continue to read, for the few of you who still post (even if it is about Coronation Street - keep it coming!), and for all who take time out of their day to check out Jill's World (as boring as it may be...) Hopefully we'll all still be around for #300!!

So - tonight is my Christmas Pot-Luck for Ladies' Night at the Family Centre, which I'm very much looking forward to. Actually, kinda dreading it - we have to bring an embroidery needle, a paint brush, a glue gun & scissors. Sounds like a complicated craft!

Then tomorrow night, I'm going for my orange belt at Karate! I knew there was a grading coming up, but I didn't expect to be taking part in it, because as of last night I had only 2 black stripes on my yellow belt. (You need 3 black and one red to represent the different parts you've learned to advance to the next belt). However, Sensei Brenda quickly taught me my second set of self defence moves, and then I had to do 25 push-ups & 25 sit-ups to get my last two stripes. So now I'm able to take part in the grading and hopefully by Friday, I'll be sporting a lovely orange belt!!

Due to these two busy evenings, I'll be missing some Sens games, but I'm hoping the boys get some more victories under their belts to extend their current winning streak. GO SENS GO!!

That's all for now! Have a great afternoon, everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

They Call It Paranoia

For the past few days, it's been sneaking up on me.

I've been feeling it. A little twinge. A slight scratchiness at the back of my throat. A sneeze here. A sneeze there.

Christmas is exactly two weeks away, and I'm terribly afraid that I'm going to catch a cold, or some kind of foreign sickness. It's one of the busiest times of the year, and I have absolutely no time to be sick!!

I think it's a fear that was instilled in me as a child. There were several Christmases in a row where my family was unable to take part in any holiday cheer because one or more of us were ill. Fortunately, none of us have been sick for Christmas for years, but I'm still paranoid. Just around the time when I'm ready to dive head-first into the festive jolly-ness of the season, I start worrying about the pesky cold. Or the flu. Or typhoid fever. Or malaria.

So I've been pumping the Cold FX, the Echinicea, the Vitamin C. Everything I can possibly think of to ward off any germs or bugs that are trying to eat away at my immune system.

This morning, my awareness of catching an infectious disease was heightened when I arrived at work to find everyone fussing over Holly. She's got a cold, of course. And decided to come to work and infect me. Everyone's been telling her she needs to go home and rest, pop some pills, fight the cold, take it easy, poor wee thing.

Know what I said to her?

"Holly. If I end up sick...I'm going to kill you."

I kid not. Literally, that's what I said. She just laughed. She clearly did not take me seriously. But she should have.

Not only is Christmas fast-approaching, but I'm smack-dab in the middle of crazy-hectic-holiday-activity time. The Christmas house tour was last night. Tomorrow night is my craft group's pot-luck. Friday night is Keith Urban. Christmas parties, family gatherings, and so on...


So right now I'm sucking on a Halls Vitamin C lozenge and trying not to breathe in her germs, wishing I had one of those hospital masks to wear over my face.

Some might call it paranoia. I just call it being preventative & prepared!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jill's Holiday Special (Reprise)

Well, gang, I'm cutting corners today - just re-posting my 2006 Holiday Specials blog. Not much has changed since I made my list last year - Elf is still my favourite, and the only new one I'd like to add is Fred Claus, which I saw a few weeks ago. Only problem is, I can't think of any to boot off the list, so I guess that means I now have 16 favourites!!

It's that time of the year again, when the TV schedule is full of Christmas shows and movies - and I tried to sit down and come up with a "Top Ten", but I just couldn't. I love too many of them. I have managed to narrow it down to fifteen of my all-time favourites, so if you get an opportunity to catch any of them, you should. Chances are, many of them are already favourites of yours, too.

So grab a cup of hot chocolate, a bowl of buttery popcorn, your coziest blanket, and curl up on the couch to enjoy some holiday magic!!

15. The Polar Express - This computer-animated movie is a recent addition to my holiday line-up of favourites. Tom Hanks is the voice of the conductor of a train taking children to the North Pole, and they run into many crazy adventures and obstacles along the way. I guarantee you, the sound of bells jingling will forever give you chills after watching this movie.

14. A Flintstone Family Christmas - Who doesn't love the Flintstones? It was a noon-hour tradition when I was a kid. In the Christmas special, Bam Bam & Pebbles are all grown up and married with kids of their own, and they return home to celebrate the season with Fred, Wilma, Barney & Betty. I always knew those two crazy stone-age kids were meant for each other!!

13. The Family Stone - I'm not sure this movie was meant to be considered a "Holiday Classic", but because it is set at Christmastime, I'm including it in my list. Starring such big names as Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it is the story of a family reunited at Christmas, only to learn that their family is about to change drastically, in more ways than one. Just try not to cry in the last scene. I dare you.

12. American Dreams: JJ's Return - OK, so this is just an episode of a cancelled TV show and it probably shouldn't even be counted, but I've watched it every Christmas for the past three years. It has become one of my holiday staples. The Prior family is dreading the holiday season without their son and brother, JJ, who is missing in the midst of the Vietnam War. When they get the call on Christmas Eve to tell them JJ has been found and will be returning home safely, it just gives you the warm & fuzzies. Plus, JJ's dad gets him the '66 Mustang for Christmas - now that's what every hero deserves!

11. A Garfield Christmas - There's something about the Garfield Christmas special that reminds me of my own family. No, we don't have any crazy pets like Garfield and Odie, but the excitement of Jon and his brother on Christmas morning reflects that of the youthful exuberance with which my siblings and I still greet Christmas morning. Plus, Garfield's gift to Grandma is a touching moment that few cartoons could ever accomplish.

10. Eight Crazy Nights - Adam Sandler's animated movie in the spirit of Hanukkah tells the story of a misguided, troubled young man who is headed down the wrong path until he is taken under the wing of one of the local characters, Whitey, who has dedicated his life to volunteering and helping the children of his hometown. It's got Broadway-style songs, big laughs, and some tear-jerking moments that only Adam Sandler could combine into one festive package.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas - It's not Christmas without Charlie Brown! It's one of those old cartoons that is on every year, but you just can't miss it. All of the Peanuts gang is preparing for the class Christmas pageant in which they are recreating the Nativity story. And then there's that tree. The Charlie Brown Tree. You know what I mean. Everyone's either got one or at least seen one. It's not Christmas without a Charlie Brown Tree!

8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The story of Santa Claus in claymation, and narrated by Fred Astaire - who could ask for more? It tracks the origins of Kris Kringle from the time he was an orphan adopted by a family of elves, and how he grew up to bring cheer into the lives of children under the oppressive reign of the Burger Meister, who had banned toys from the town. I never miss it!

7. Mickey's Christmas Carol - It's Disney's take on Charles Dickens' classic story of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, & Future. Mickey stars as Bob Cratchit, with Donald Duck playing the young Ebeneezer, and Goofy as Jacob Marley, and many other Disney characters also appear. It's the only version of A Christmas Carol I've ever been able to sit through. Little Tiny Tim always chokes me up.

6. The Santa Clause - Tim Allen stars as a deadbeat dad who accidentally steps into the Big Guy's shoes and learns how to juggle his new duties with being a good father. It has spawned two sequels, and all three movies are worth a look. You can catch the latest installment, The Escape Clause, in theatres now.

5. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I'm talking about the original cartoon, not the crappy remake with Jim Carrey. That old Grinch, with a heart that is two sizes too small, disguises himself as Santa Claus and descends upon the Whos down in Whoville with plans to make Christmas disappear. And he almost succeeds, too. But even the Grinch can't hide from the holiday cheer as he realizes Christmas is not just about gifts, food, and Santa Claus - it's about being with the people you love. Just watch that Grinch's heart grow!!

4. Miracle on 34th Street - Christmas just isn't Christmas without watching the original black and white version. Susan is a little girl whose mother does not believe in filling her daughter's head with such silly notions as Santa Claus. So when jolly ol' St. Nick himself befriends Susan, she struggles to convince her mother that Santa really does exist. Doesn't matter how old you are - after watching this movie, you will believe.

3. Frosty the Snowman - It's the classic cartoon that my friends still tease me about. At a sleepover when we were kids, I threw a fit because no one would let me watch it. I argued with everyone that it was tradition - that I had to watch it! To this day, one of them will inevitably joke about the night I made them all watch Frosty. And to this day, I still never miss it.

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - There's an elf that wants to be a dentist. There's an Island of Lost Toys. There's the Winter Worlock. And there's an outcast reindeer with a glowing red nose. Everyone loves this Christmas special! Rudolph is one of the greatest heroes ever - he saves Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh through the fog with his bright red schnozz. Who cares about Dasher and Prancer and Comet and Blitzen? Rudolph's the only one with his own theme song!

1. Elf - That's right, folks. Buddy the Elf won my heart a few years ago and climbed to the top of my list of Holiday Favourites. Will Ferrell stars as the bubbly, sugary-sweet Buddy who leaves the North Pole to find his real father in New York City, and along the way he finds a lot of people who need some serious convincing when it comes to the idea of Santa. It's absolutely hilarious, and it will warm the cockles of your hearts as Buddy connects with his new family and teaches an entire city to believe.

So there you have it - my Holiday Special Blog, all wrapped up for you to enjoy! Feel free to mention your Christmas favourites in the comments section and let me know if I missed any! If I wasn't in the Christmas spirit before I started this Blog, just thinking about all those great shows and movies has done the trick now!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

So far in 2007 the only ones I've been able to catch are the Seuss version of the Grinch, Garfield, Frosty, & Santa Claus is Coming to Town - but during the next few weeks, when I'm looking for some holiday spirit, I can guarantee I'll be watching the rest!! Happy Holidays, everyone!! :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Slump is OVER!!

Today, the Blog is celebrating the fact that the Sens FINALLY won a game!!


For the past couple of weeks, it's become harder and harder to believe that this is the same team that jumped out to an amazing 16-3 start to the season. They started out by losing to the Leafs, and it all went down-hill from there. Some real stinkers, and a few OT losses added in, and it had become a 7-game slump.

As long as I've been a Sens fan, I've never suffered with them through a 7-game slump. The last time they did that was under former head coach Dave "Sparky" Allison, and that was before my time. Over a decade ago. Back in the days of the "Laughing-Stock-of-the-League Senators".

There's no way a team that is this talented should ever go through such a miserable stretch of losses. However, thanks to their explosive start to the 2007-2008 season, nobody was overly concerned, as they had a nice cushy lead over the rest of their division and conference, and it was just a known fact that the ship would be righted sooner rather than later.

For me, the lowest point of the slump was watching Wade Redden's blatant, inexcusable give-away on Tuesday night that gave Tampa Bay their first goal in what ended up being a 4-3 shootout win for the Lightning. I cheer Wade on incessantly, and I defend him when everyone else is putting him down, but at that moment, I couldn't help but cringe. It seemed to put the exclamation point on the loud "ARGHHHH!" that Sens fans were letting out all over the place over the past few weeks.

Redden did redeem himself somewhat after scoring the tying goal in the dying seconds of that game, after Alfie had scored twice to help his team fight back, but alas, it just ended up being another loss in this dismal losing streak.

But last night, they were in Florida, facing former coach Jacques Martin's Panthers, and it would appear that was just what the doctor ordered. Randy Robitaille and Mike Fisher scored two quick ones in the first, and you could almost hear the gigantic sigh of relief of the entire Sens Army.

Not that it was a cakewalk after that. Martin pulled his goalie Thomas Vokoun and replaced him with a no-namer, Craig Armstrong or something like that. Then the Panthers bounced back with two goals, and I was back to biting my nails. "Oh dear God...We can't lose to Florida. We can't lose 8 straight games. We can't test out any more levels of 'rock bottom'..."

The boys must've heard me. Nicky-Fo re-directed an Andrej Meszaros point shot for his third of the season, and Jason Spezza capitalized on the power play to restore the Sens' 2-goal lead. Then Ray Emery stopped a penalty shot by some guy I'd never heard of. Again, I was breathing easier. Then Florida scored again. But Robitaille answered with his second of the game, and with a 5-3 lead heading into the dying minutes, I was already celebrating the end of the slump.

Olli Jokinen made it interesting yet again by scoring with about 14 seconds left in the game. Thankfully, it was too late for the Panthers by then, and the Sens finally busted out of the slump with a 5-4 win. It wasn't exactly pretty, but it was what the Sens needed to relieve the pressure. Scoring was spread out, with Robitaille and Fisher ending long personal goal-less droughts, and I'd also like to mention that Wade Redden played a really good game (at least, I thought he did). It looks like Ray Emery is getting his chance to hang on to the #1 position after playing back-up to Marty Gerber through most of the past two months. It's unfortunate that Gerber played so poorly during this slump, because I really thought he had surpassed that dreadful year he had last year and had regained his form. It doesn't seem fair that he's basically back to exactly where he was last year at this point.

So anyways...YES!! I'm very happy to be out of the slump, and I hope they start a new kind of streak tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars. Something they did a lot of in October and the start of November. A little somethin'-somethin' called a winning streak.