BRUCE GARRIOCH: Holding out hope? That's like holding your breath under water. This team will go down as a bunch of underachievers. As Dany Heatley says: "You guys will spin it whatever way you want."
TIM BAINES: The fact is it's a collective effort. The stars haven't been good enough. We heap the blame on Jason Spezza, but where's Dany Heatley been? Signing copies of his book? And if The Big Three aren't producing, you can't expect a bunch of third- and fourth-liners to produce like second-liners. Especially when there's not enough production coming from the back end.
CHRIS STEVENSON: Tim, I know you wouldn't know a good back end if, well, never mind. The Senators' back end has looked like Jennifer Lopez' famous caboose lately. Picard's been scoring, even Phillips. Their defence, as a group, had one more goal than Calgary's going into that game. Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson, the guys who are expected to keep this team from losing streaks, aren't getting it done.
DON BRENNAN: Who's got the better (bum) -- Jennifer Lopez or Jennifer Aniston? I believe Jennifer Aniston's got the best legs in show biz.
STEVENSON: Time is just about up on this bunch. Like just about everybody else, I was waiting for some signs of life from the core guys. Apart from a good period in Calgary, they haven't shown anything in the most crucial games of the year. I don't think even a trade is going to shake these guys up.
BRENNAN: Dany Heatley is going to become a complete player, remember? Except he hasn't done that. He really doesn't do anything except shoot the puck, and against the Canucks he didn't even do that. Zero shots on goal from the $10- million man. Did he even effing show up?
GARRIOCH: Can you clean up Don's language? Oh, there's plenty of blame to go around. Everybody has stunk.
BRENNAN: Where's the effing passion? Where's the effing pride? Seriously. A man is paying you $10 million and this is what you give him back? It's enough to make you puke. Dany Heatley works hard on his craft. I love watching the shooting drill he puts himself through, lining up on the right-wing faceoff dot and one-timing passes from an assistant coach into the net. He's remarkable at it. Now bring something else to the dance, Dany. You're a big boy. You have played like a big boy before. Hit somebody. Win some effing battles.
GARRIOCH: I hope Don's mother washes his mouth out with soap.
BRENNAN: Gee, excuse me for getting angry. Too bad a few more Senators didn't feel the same way. The fans do. Think they might be using a few harsh words to express their feelings of that effort in Vancouver. The Senators had 18 shots on goal. That's just disgusting from a team in a must-win situation. Just effing disgusting.
GARRIOCH: So, if you're Bryan Murray, what do you do? If the owner is willing to be as patient as he tells everybody he is, then how do you get this team out of this mess?
STEVENSON: What should Murray do? Get some resumes ready? Melnyk fired the previous GM after getting to the Stanley Cup final. What happens when his team misses the playoffs?
BAINES: I think the owner's patience is about to run out. It's a brave public face, but he's a competitive guy with a deep passion for the team. He can only bite his tongue for so long. A loss in Edmonton might unzip his lips.
GARRIOCH: That hug he gave Pat Quinn last Friday didn't go unnoticed around the NHL.
BAINES: The Hansons are still touring around doing that Slap Shot schtick. Bring them in. Look at how they turned around the fortunes of the Charlestown Chiefs. Old-time hockey.
GARRIOCH: I got Slap Shot for Christmas. One my favourite gifts. A trade won't help one bit and I love trades. Look, it's not their God-given right to make the playoffs, you have to earn it. This will be the true test of Eugene Melnyk's patience. He didn't spend the kind of coin he's spending on these "thugs" to miss the post-season.
BRENNAN: Hey, they just took a shot on goal away from the Swedes. At the end of the first period they led the Latvians 27-1. Two minutes into the second it's 26-1.
STEVENSON: The Canucks apparently took a lot of shots away from the Senators.
BRENNAN: I'm sitting it the same box the Sun used to have in the first years the Senators played at the Civic Centre. Remember? In the corner, on the west-end side? I was here as a fan one night. The hostess locked the beer fridge in the third period. I said "what are you doing?" She said, "sorry, it's time to close it." I said, "well, can you unlock it for one quick second? I left my medicine in there." So she unlocked it and I grabbed about three more beers, and said "thanks." I think I got in trouble from the boss over that one.
BAINES: Medicine? I've gotta get the name of your doctor. "Take three beers and call me in the morning."
GARRIOCH: If the Oilers beat Ottawa 15-0, there will be trouble.
STEVENSON: 15-0? 1-0 shouldn't be acceptable.
BRENNAN: I think Bruce was making a joke, Chris ... c'mon.
STEVENSON: Really? Thanks, Don. Go back to the fridge. He was making a joke and I was making a point that was obviously lost on you.