The 2005-06 Ottawa Senators
The best team ever?
The best team ever?
Deadlines are a fact of life in journalism. A national newspaper like The Globe and Mail has even tighter deadlines than most publications, as the push to get a paper to doorsteps from Vancouver Island to Moose Jaw to Sackville, N.B., necessitates deadlines are often much earlier than you'd like.
Early deadlines, especially in the sports section, where games don't always end by 10 p.m. EST, often affect the paper's look and content.
Of course, I'm not offering anything new by saying this, but I merely offer this as a preface. In Friday's paper, The Globe's sports front asked the question: "Are the Sens the best ever?" and provided various fact packages to support the claim. Hockey reporter Tim Wharnsby penned the story based on interviews with Ottawa Senators GM John Muckler, a man who knows all about dominant NHL teams from his days with the Edmonton Oilers.
Sound interesting enough? It's at least a diversion from the regular, day-to-day game stories and wire copy that fill sports pages everywhere.
Does it matter, then, that the Senators lost 3-0 Thursday night to the Boston Bruins? Is asking the question somehow less valid when it comes the day after a team falls to a 19-4-0 record?
CBC Sports appears to think so.
On the very day that a feature article in The Globe and Mail asked whether the impressive Senators could be crowned the best ever, Ottawa will settle for a win of any kind when it hosts the Los Angeles Kings at Corel Centre.It's curious phrasing that which points out something implicitly stated within the article itself. "Before last night's games" appears at least a half a dozen times on the page, making it an obvious observation to say "obviously prepared" in a way that snidely implies the piece was somehow irrelevant the day it was published.
The article was obviously prepared before all of the streaks the Senators were working on came to a screeching halt Thursday night as the Boston Bruins, playing their first game since the surprising trade of Joe Thornton, blanked Ottawa 3-0.
In one of the display items, The Globe projects the Senators full season record to be 71-11-0 for 142 points, the highest such point total ever recorded (the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens had 60 wins and 132 points). Following their Thursday night loss to the Bruins, Ottawa's 19-4 record projects to 68-14-0 and 136 points, four more than the record total.
Even coming off a loss, isn't it a fair question: Are the Sens the best ever? I think so.
Considering the CBC has offered Canadian hockey fans only one national broadcast of hockey's top team this season — and only then when they played the Maple Leafs — perhaps we'd best leave such analysis to those obviously preparing the next day's newspapers.
One of the throws on the sports front in question directs readers to my story on Western Mustangs receiver Andy Fantuz receiving the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canadian university football's outstanding player. Deadlines were a factor in the writing of the story.