So I broke my playoff game cherry last night.
I attended 4 regular season games this year and was impressed by the differences that I noticed between the fans this year and previous years. Even a mundane game like Ott-NJ in January that I was at brought out some cheering and support that did wonders in dispelling the stereotype of Ottawa fans being quiet and reserved, but boy was I unprepared for the reaction from the fans last night.
The buildup was incredible. The team's intro with some Deadmau5 playing was an awesome pump up and when they stepped on the ice, the building went insane.
Yes, the Rangers silenced us for a while, enough even to forget to do the now epic Alfie chant at 11:11, but from the start of the Second Period we got loud and didn't let up; Turris's overtime winner was unbelievable, and the only thing MORE insane than his snipe was the reaction from the audience.
Leaving the building felt like we had just won the Stanley Cup. Horns honking, people hanging outside of cars and buses screaming and chanting, police officers smiling and getting into the action; it was all incredible. I have never experienced anything quite like that and I will never forget it. Watching the replay of the Turris goal continues to give me goosebumps even after noon today.
One thing that is especially nice that I have seen noted in comments on the recap of the game is that we the fans are starting to diversify our cheers. Yes, the Alfie chants are there, loud, and numerous, but Anderson got loads of them last night as well. I also particularly enjoyed the "Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit" and "Ref, you suck, Ref, you suck, Ref, you suck" chants that started springing up after some atrocious non-calls and bad calls.
All-in-all, there is nothing in my sporting life that can compare to the noise or atmosphere than last night's game. I have the pleasure of going to Game 6 and I literally cannot wait to get another dose of the Sens Army Adrenaline shot.