I want to start off this collection of thoughts with a disclaimer of sorts: I'm usually a pretty pessimistic person...usually. Another thing you should know about me (You guys are just really getting to know me today!) is that I am a die hard Senators fan.
I live and breathe this team. My room has Senators memorabilia all over the place. My closet is flooded with red from the amount of team apparel I have managed to stuff in there. I have followed the team religiously for as long as I can remember. I'm a fan that refers to the team as "we" because as far as I'm concerned, for the emotional investment I have in this team? I may as well be a member in some capacity.
I follow this blog pretty closely and I read along with a lot of the discussions but don't chime in as much as I would like.
I try to keep my expectations tempered about this team, so reading what other hardcore Sens fans (like yourselves) have to say (in contrast with my views) really interests me. There's such a wide variety of views on this team but there is one thing we all agree on...
During the 2012-2013 season, the hockey gods to a nice steamy dump on our team's (figurative) chest.
Cowen done for the season.
Then our little guy EK, gone with an injury that begs the question "will he ever be the same player?"
It became Anderson's team but a freak accident while cooking sidelined our Vezina trophy candidate for an extended period.
The injuries we faced would have decimated a lot of teams but ours managed to hang in there and with a little pesky-ness, fought back against the gods.The team made a nice run in the playoffs and upset the number 2 seeded Montreal Canadiens. The series gave birth to what could make an exciting rivalry for the foreseeable future.
Fast forward to July 5th... (sorry, I had to)
The face of the franchise, Daniel Alfredsson, gone. This topic has been discussed extensively so that's all I'll say of it. Everyone knows the pain felt on that day. Done.
The event I just mentioned has been the toughest part of the roller-coaster of a ride we've gone through. Add in the Melnyk situation and off the ice, who knows what's going on with this team? It seems like time and time again we get the short end of the stick as Senators fans. This isn't a "woe is me" type of post so don't misunderstand. All I'm saying is that being a Senators fan isn't always easy.
I shouldn't have to bring up instances from the past (Daigle, Yashin, Chara, Hasek, Heatley, Alfredsson) but some of the issues our team has dealt with really suck.
But what if that all changes?
What if this is the year, Jason Spezza, after all the criticism this guy has faced over his career, leads a team and becomes one of the best captains in team history behind some guy who wore #11?
What if this is the year, Erik Karlsson, after the awful injury our favorite Swede went through, comes back with a vengeance and proves how dominant of a player he is by putting up another elite-level season?
What if this is the year, Bobby Ryan, after being stuck in a secondary role in Anaheim, comes in hot to Ottawa and proves why he was the next player taken after a baby player named Crosby?
What if this is the year, Kyle Turris, after proving he can play with the big boys last season, comes in and flourishes in the second line role supporting Spezza?
What if this is the year, after our captain leaves us, that we get past that hump and are the last team standing?
What if this is the year that the hockey gods smile down upon our small market team and give us that feeling of glory we've been craving since we came so close in 2007?
I'm usually a pessimistic person but deep down inside of me somewhere, is this tiny miniature version of me we'll call "Optimistic Manny" and he's going bat shit insane thinking about what lies in store for our team. I know it's not likely but isn't that part of the fun of being a fan? That we hold this hope down inside of us that "you never know"?
Just a nice summer thought I thought would be welcome to fellow fans of the team during this tail end of the off season.
I look forward to talking more hockey with all of you.
Thanks for the read.