Having sat through the horror of a 5-0 home loss to Toronto and then yet another heartbreaking Super Bowl loss, I have moved on to the acceptance stage. However, I was further disappointed after reading this article by Wayne Scanlan that a season-ticket holder feels that it isn't "safe" to attend a game against Toronto or Montréal because their fans take over the building. Other season-ticket holders were said to be considering cancelling their season-tickets simply to avoid these six games. Well first of all, they don't take over the building, we hand it over without a fight. This isn't Europe, there is nothing remotely dangerous about being a visiting fan at a North American hockey game.
I find this to be the wrong approach. Instead of cowering and avoiding these games, which only serves to increase the number of fans of the visiting team, more home fans should be buying these tickets. The idea that Sens fans are going to avoid these games because the big, bad, mean Leafs fans are booing our Alfie is frankly just surrendering to them. Personally speaking, I find these games are the best ones to go to because they have the best atmosphere and a lot of back-and-forth heckling. If Alfie getting booed annoys you, don't just sit there and pout. Start an Alfie chant, or boo Dion Phaneuf.
This isn't meant to be a rant about how I am such a great fan and the others are terrible. I've been to three Senators/Leafs games in Ottawa in my life so it isn't like I am there every time. However, there was nothing in the atmosphere at those games that makes attending the game unbearable to attend. As someone who attends the games as a visiting fan in Toronto, I don't find anything particularly wrong with fans showing up to support the visiting team. It is up to the home fans to snap up the tickets and not avoid them.
Links follow after the jump.
Here are today's links:
- A generally optimistic panel tonight predicts a low-scoring game. Peter says 2-1 for Ottawa. (Senators Extra)
- The lines in practise: 1) Greening-Spezza-Michalek, 2) Condra-Turris-Alfredsson, 3) Foligno-Smith-Neil, 4) O'Brien-Konopka-Daugavins. (Nicolas St-Pierre)
- The defence is 1) Kuba-Karlsson, 2) Cowen-Gonchar, 3) Phillips-Carkner. (Sylvain St-Laurent)
- Craig Anderson starts again. (Ottawa Senators)
- Bruce Garrioch can't help but take another shot at Brian Elliott. He feels Alex Auld should start tonight in a "battle of the backups". In Garrioch's defence, Elliott has started less games than Jaroslav Halak, but...he was an all-star. (Ottawa Sun)
- The Senators biggest problem is the lack of scoring: six goals in the last eight games and one goal or less in four of them. (Ottawa Sun)
- Zenon Konopka hasn't been a plus in 22-straight games, going -6 in that span. (Yahoo!)
- The Senators playoff chances are under 50% now, sitting at 49.3%. (Sports Club Stats)
- And just in case you forgot, Brian Elliott is returning to Ottawa tonight as an opposing goalie for the first time. (NHL)