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Five Thoughts for Friday

First goals, fan fights and a cause dear to us all

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

As hockey fans, our brains never stop thinking about this game we love and the teams that torture us but on Fridays, the thoughts just come together in one piece.

Divided in Red? Negativity?

The biggest initiative the Sens have put forward this season was the introduction of the “influencers” to create a connection between the team and the disgruntled fanbase. From the feedback I’m getting, it seems the program is going well. The whole influencer notion has been controversial from the very beginning with fans torn between taking the opportunity or sticking to the #MelnykOut revolt. Here’s the thing, every fan is free to cheer for the team as they wish; there’s no point telling people to go to games (or not go) and certainly no need to guilt anyone who has been attending games by invite. In a season where it seems all we write about is the constant negative cloud surrounding this team, the last thing any fan wants to bear is the constant twitter fights and usually surrounding the same topic - I’m guilty of it as well. I completely understand fans who want to take a rosy look at the team and ignore everything off the ice but not all of us can and at the end of the day, it’s easy to ignore a negative take but also not bash an overly optimistic take on the opposite spectrum. In other words, I’m asking you to be Switzerland with all its glorious chocolates, watches and no conflicts, can we try that for a weekend maybe?

Love in the Air?

Maybe Sens fans need to a break from the constant twitter fights and should take advantage of the Sens new loving initiative “Snipe Right Night” and meet up for a night filled with love, adventure and hahahahaha how do the Sens come up with this stuff? Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for thinking outside the box but this is as awkward and hilarious as could be even for the the Sens. If anything I’m really intrigued by the attendance of the event and if we will hear a few bot success stories on there. Melnyk paid weddings anyone? If this event actually results in a meaningful relationship between two fans, I will be the first to apologize for the mocking.

First Goals

Last night, Drake “BATHTIME” Batherson scored his first goal against the Detroit Red Wings and his comments after the game, “I blanked out after scoring”. I don’t blame him, I would’ve passed out on the ice right there. In a season doomed from the start, it’s been refreshing to be cheering for these feel good stories and parent reactions every few games. With Tkachuk, Lajoie and Batherson scoring their firsts in their home debuts; it’s also been nice for the fans attending to watch. I always wondered though; 10 years later how important is that goal? Do players really remember and cherish it for their entire careers? Are playoff first goals more important/memorable? The one thing I will say for sure is that no goal matters more than that first beauty to the parents of the player involved. It truly is a joy to watch the pride and pure emotions on the faces of their families. ,

Another thought, does scoring your first goal early on give you a much needed boost of confidence? Formenton had to wait until his 8th game to score his first goal which is still pretty impressive but one has to wonder if he had scored earlier; would it have given me the opportunity to not worry about it every game and just play more smoothly?

Penalty Shot vs Power Play

In last night’s game, Craig Anderson had to make two penalty shot stops which was ridiculous but that’s a whole other topic about how inconsistent this league’s reffing remains. Gord Miller and Dave Poulin discussed the idea that a team should be given the option of taking the shot or electing for a 2 minute power play. I always thought a shot was more lethal and I think in most cases it probably is but I would definitely be open to that discussion especially since the NCAA already has this rule in place as outlined below:

Penalty Shots. When any infraction of the rules calls for a penalty shot not involving a major, disqualification or misconduct penalty, the non-offending team shall be given the option of accepting the penalty shot or having a minor penalty assessed to the offending player.

In a situation where the “victim” is not necessarily a goal scorer or if the opposing goalie is a well know beast (yes, that’s you Andy) wouldn’t it be fair to give the non-offending team the best opportunity to capitalize? A team that has a top-5 PP% playing a team with a bottom league PK% would definitely take on that risk. It’s an interesting topic and one that is worth looking into by the league.

Hockey Fights Cancer

One cannot stress enough about what an incredible initiative this is by the league as a while. November has been filled with team events supporting the cause and an urge to fans to donate and more importantly be reminded of the incredible stories in our communities. Cancer has touched everyone in some capacity and while hockey may seem trivial to some; hockey has been a source of joy in times of darkness. This is why a hockey team is vital to its city, why sometimes the performance on the ice just doesn’t matter. Last night, the Sens had Julia Miller for the ceremonial puck drop, it was both heart warming but heart breaking at the same time. No kid should have to fight this gutting disease, no parent should see their 12-year old going through all this suffering but one day there will be a cure and if hockey allows us to contribute even in a minuscule amount, I am grateful for that opportunity. Regardless of your thoughts on the Sens Foundation, they still do a great job in the community especially for kids fighting through this disease. A few weeks ago, the Sens shared this touching video of Jacob Randell; a young boy battling brain cancer along with his younger sister Sophia. We’ve all seen his video with Ryan Dzingel and it made all our hearts just twist over and over but it’s these videos that give us an opportunity to give back in some way. On twitter, I had pledged $1.8 for every Dzingel goal and $18 for a hat trick going to the Sens Foundation in honour of Jacob and Sophia and so far he hasn’t disappointed with 14 points. If you can help in any way whether it’s monetary, volunteering or reaching to someone in need of help or support please do, every little bit means the world to anyone going through cancer. Here’s to the fighters, the survivors and the support systems.