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Five Thoughts For Friday

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Arena Entertainment, Fan Satisfaction and Some Sens Gratefulness

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The long weekend gave us a short and light week, both for our work lives and hockey viewing pleasure. But, that never stops the ongoing hockey talks and news updates, which leads us to some very interesting thoughts this fine Friday morning.

Craig Anderson Mask

As you may have read this week, Craig Anderson gifted his Bryan Murray dedication mask to his wife, Geri Murray, and their children. A classy move by one of the most upstanding players this team has seen over the years. The mask in itself was a beauty and an incredibly touching act on Andy’s side; bringing light to Murray’s loss once again was something maybe we all needed a reminder of. What struck me the most is the following:

Special people deserve special credit and Bryan was. If he didn’t touch so many lives with the way that he handled himself and cared for others the way he did then I don’t think we’d be having this conversation. - Craig Anderson

I think many of us spent Murray’s last days being angry about the Alfie situation and the Spezza trade and all that ensued with those two events that we forgot who Bryan Murray truly was, what he meant to this city and its players. He was more than just a GM, he truly believed in the success of this team and the importance of this city, and I think Pierre Dorion made us realize what a difference Murray made in the organization. I just wonder, do players feel the same level of respect towards Dorion? I know Dorion’s hands are tied with Melnyk around, but there was something genuine about Murray that Dorion lacks, and I wonder if Murray was still around would we be in this current situation? RIP Bryan Murray, you will forever be missed.

Karlsson vs Stone

The loss of both players was really the destruction of this team, and as the Sens played the Vegas Golden Knights yesterday evening, many felt the pain of Mark Stone’s loss. While neither player will come back to Ottawa; I just wonder who fans would pick if they had the choice between the two. While I think Mark Stone is an irreplaceable player and should have been our next captain, wasn’t Erik Karlsson the generational player we had been waiting for? In my mind, while Stone does make everyone around him better; Karlsson carry a team and change a game. Who got the better deal, Sharks or Golden Knights?

Arena entertainment

Remember that embarrassing Spartan from 2008? Aren’t we all still apologizing and cringing over it? Well, a few Ottawa fans traveled to Las Vegas for the game and have been posting videos from the pre-game and in between periods entertainment and guess what? It’s gladiators fighting and circus shows and everything ridiculous, but that’s fun, right? I’m not knocking the Knights’ arena entertainment, but are different teams judged differently for their new ideas? I’m not defending the Spartan either, but if it’s great entertainment in other cities, maybe it’s time we make peace with it here in Ottawa?

How Greedy Are Hockey Fans?

I can’t remember a time when Sens fans had the luxury of being “greedy”, but I know there were all these times we took the team’s victories for granted. Are hockey fans ever satisfied with their teams? The Toronto Maple Leafs have a roster that includes John Tavares, Auston Matthews, and Mitch Marner and are currently holding a 4-3-1 record, which isn’t horrible by any means. Yet they’re calling for the firing of both their coach and GM; 8 games in. Penguins fans have often complained about Sidney Crosby’s line mates and so on. Being hockey fans isn’t rational, it often brings the worst in everyone but only one team can win the Cup each year and if your team is constantly winning or providing you with a playoff chance, shouldn’t that be that good enough without constantly asking for someone to be fired/traded? We all deserve to expect our teams to at least try to win the Cup, but does every team need to be the perfect combination of forwards, defense and goal tending? Are fans of consistently good teams less grateful than fans of suffering teams (looking at you Sens)? I just hope that one day, when the team is back in contention, we remember the days we’re living in now, and appreciate any meaningful success we can get.

Gratefulness

Since thanksgiving was last weekend; I thought I’d mention a few things I’m currently thankful with this fragile team of ours.

a) Thomas Chabot’s extension

b) Jean Gabriel Pageau still being on the team

c) Eugene Melnyk sale rumours - must keep the hope going

d) Brady Tkachuk’s existence

e) Our fanbase which has made this excruciating journey a lot more bearable and even fun at times