It is easy to cheer for an underdog. It is in our blood, our genes, our instincts, our psyche - in life, in any race there is only one leader and everyone is chasing him/her. It makes you feel good to see an improbable outcome, against all the odds succeeding or making a good run at it.
We cheer for a Hail Mary at the end of 4th with no time on the clock. We cheer for a tournament winning 50 feet putt on 18th. We know it is not going to happen, but what if? What if one day You had a chance to be there - to prove everyone wrong when no one believed in you, when you were written off without a reason or a fair shot at it. You cheer for an underdog, but you really cheer for Yourself, because in life even most successful people had to beat the odds stacked against them at some point.
What if the team no one gave any chance before season even started could do it, what if they could go all the way?
Senators just did that - they proved that hard work, strong will and believing in yourself can put you at par with the best teams in hockey. Almost every player on this team before season started was defined by a negative: Jason Spezza - turnover, Daniel Alfredsson - old, Sergei Gonchar - slow, Erik Karlsson - defenseless, Chris Phillips - minus 35, Milan Michalek - bad trade, and those are just the leaders, veterans of the team. Their coach was a Rookie without a proven track record and was answering questions how he was planning to deal with a losing team. Every expert predicted they would be dwarfed by the superior play of Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals - but by yesterday they all were giants praised for incredible skill and character: Spezza - mature, Alfredsson - leader, Gonchar - dependable, Karlsson - Norris, Phillips - plus 12, Michalek - sniper, Chris Neil - Grit, Zenon Konopka - determination... Paul McLean - Jack Adams worthy. They fell a goal short, a tap-in by Zack Smith with 3 minutes left that bounced over the stick and wide, a shot (or three) by Milan Michalek that was just wide or a shot by Senators player that was blocked by a Rangers player over and over again, but they were not short on determination and believing that it can be done.
It is impossible not to admire the will of a team fighting a battle that no one gave them a chance to be in. A lot of times when my Senators are eliminated or lose I am disappointed, but not yesterday, not this season. Yesterday I was proud, yesterday I was happy and today I want to Thank Senators and whole organization for an incredible story of a team that never gave up, and I will never give up Believing It!