SUN Hockey Pool

Going, going, gong...

BRUCE GARRIOCH, TIM BAINES, DON BRENNAN AND CHRIS STEVENSON

, Last Updated: 8:39 AM ET

CHRIS STEVENSON: The Senators should be worried no matter what the crest on the front of the sweater. Are you kidding? They can't take anybody for granted. The Lightning just humbled the mighty Habs right in the Bell Centre. Plus, the Lightning were cooling their heels here last night while the Senators were playing in Washington and then travelling home and getting in late.

DON BRENNAN: Nah, they have nothing to worry about. The Bolts are lousy. They only beat the Habs by two.

TIM BAINES: Yeah, but this is the dysfunctional Lightning we're talking about. I wonder if Barry Melrose has a Lightning voodoo doll he sticks pins into every night?

STEVENSON: Melrose must have taken Thursday night off to work on his mullet because the Bolts were flying against Montreal. Lecavalier and St. Louis always have another gear when they play back home.

BAINES: Are you guys there? Night after night, with the exception of that stunning upset over Chris' Les Glorieux, the Lightning are like you guys, non-responsive. Didn't these guys win a Cup not so long ago, with a team centered around Lecavalier and St. Louis?

STEVENSON: Yeah, they won a Cup with those guys, but they also had a guy named Khabibulin playing pretty well, Brad Richards, Dan Boyle. The Senators and the Lightning have a lot in common. They gave a lot of money to their top guys and have fallen hard. At least the Bolts won the Cup when they had their chance.

BRENNAN: Tough to guess the outcome in this one. I think the highlight of the night will be the Chris Neil-Zenon Konopka fight, if Konopka is still with the Bolts.

BAINES: Why wouldn't Konopka be with them? He brings an energy element. The Lightning have become the Detroit Lions of the NHL. Bad management. Bad teams. I was going to say bad fans, except you'd have to be an exceptional fan to open your wallet for the kind of effort the team has provided so far this season.

BRUCE GARRIOCH: Konopka just got called up an emergency basis. He is not a full-time player. Look, Tampa is a better team than the record indicates. The problem is their defence hasn't gotten the job done and they can't score goals. In a lot of ways, they are like the Senators. They need their offensive players to step up. They also have to put aside the "gong show" taking place off the ice.

STEVENSON: I always enjoyed The Gong Show. The Unknown Comic was a lot funnier than you guys. Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine.

BRENNAN: Wasn't J.P. Morgan on that too? She any relation to the Jeff Morgan that works on the Sun sports desk?

BAINES: I agree, Chris. Jaye P Morgan was hot in a weird kind of way, too. And I've seen Bruce bust a move on the dance floor. Gene, Gene the Dancing Machine has nothing on our Brucie G.

GARRIOCH: Thank you, Tim. In fact, I was showing Publisher Gibbons how to bust a move at the Sun's 20th anniversary party.

BRENNAN: I like The Gong Show, but Hollywood Squares was my favourite. "I'll take Paul Lynde for the block."

GARRIOCH: Phil Legault has a gong on his desk at Scotiabank Place. He hits it whenever I walk into his office.

STEVENSON: You get to go into Phil Legault's office?

GARRIOCH: Only when I invite myself.

GARRIOCH: Where were we? What were we talking about?

BAINES: You were the one who mentioned the Lightning being a gong show. What did you expect? If you made a reference to the Los Angeles Kings and Baywatch, Don or Chris would mention Pamela Anderson. We're all about pop culture references. It's not really tied into anything, but Boston Legal was the best show on TV until it finished its run this week. Denny Crane! I also like Jamie Lee Curtis. Longtime crush. Nothing to do with hockey.

STEVENSON: The Lightning made a lot of mistakes in the off-season, but getting rid of Boyle is the biggest. When everybody in the league is coveting "puck-moving" defencemen, they shipped out one of the best. His cap hit is $6.7 million, but he's one of the guys who's worth it.

BRENNAN: And what's with making Andrej Meszaros an assistant captain? He's too young for that kind of responsibility, and I didn't see a whole lot in the way of leadership qualities when he was here.

BAINES: I don't know. We called him Andrej the Giant in a couple of Sun headlines. He must be good. Headlines don't lie.

GARRIOCH: They just sent Steve Downie back to Norfolk. The Senators will at least be safe tonight.

BAINES: The Senators need to score some goals tonight. Score goals and beat them up. Need Neiler to thump one of them. The Sens can't keep losing to the have-nots. Or soon you become a have-not.

BRENNAN: I don't get why the Bolts suck so bad. I mean, I haven't seen a lot of them this season, but they don't have a bad lineup on paper.

STEVENSON: Are you looking at the blue line, Don? It might one day be decent, but it is greener than you after a night in Georgetown. Five of six guys 25 and under. Mez is 22, two other guys 23.

BRENNAN: I think it's crap that Americans refuse to take my quarters. We take theirs. I know our dollar is not on par with theirs, but surely our change is.

GARRIOCH: Don, who cares? Roll your quarters in Canada and take them to the bank or go to the OLG slots at Rideau Carleton Raceway (shameless plug). Is this the part where you tell us how much you drank last night? How much you spent? And anything else nobody cares about?

BRENNAN: My life is a lot more entertaining than our discussions. That's a fact.

BAINES: Don, we've talked about your life. Wine, women and gong.


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