It's been a week since the season opener loss against the Carolina Hurricanes. A game, I felt the Ottawa Senators managed well considering they were playing short 2 players and were facing one of the league's most elite teams. Since then, the Sens have made sure the excited vibes from the off season were well maintained and better yet, even more hyped. Four games in, and Sens fans are wondering if this season could be different.
Not to be a pessimist, but I always practice caution until the month of November has passed by. If we're still rolling by November 30th, all my guards will fall.
On Pinto Chants
At the home opener, the crowd erupted into "We Want Pinto" chants that were very loud and clear. While it was really intended as a thoughtful gesture towards a player who will really solidify the dynamic of this team, it may not have come across in that manner. At first I didn't think much of the chant and when our friend Matt Bosty said the Pinto chants were not really a good thing I was tempted to take the 'let the fans have fun" route. However, Bosty made a good point that while these chants are endearing to Shane Pinto, how does it come off to players like Mathieu Joseph and Erik Brännström who have been in countless trade rumours in the past few weeks? I know it's a business and players probably wouldn't think much about a chant but Pierre Dorion created a mess that goes beyond an on-ice situation and fans need to be mindful of the message they're sending to all the players.
On Thomas Chabot
It's been a long time since the Sens have enjoyed such a strong defensive group. The confidence of Jake Sanderson, the flare of Jakob Chychrun, The Zub and of course Thomas Chabot. It's absolutely normal for fans to get excited about the new faces leading the defense but let's not forget who was there all alone when our back end was more a liability than an asset. The amount of backlash I've seen against Chabot after 4 games into the season has been astounding and disappointing. Had he made mistakes? Absolutely but believe it or not, so have Sanderson and Zub but the difference is we've learned to look at their good plays in a larger view than their mistakes. That's a good thing, believe me it is, especially for Jake Sanderson. Thomas Chabot however, has been the backbone of this team since he made the big club. He has been the unofficial leader, the overplayed and over exhausted player, the friend to all. He deserves the contract he has and he deserves our support even if you think the new shinier toys "look better".
On Alexander DeBrincat
With Alexander DeBrincat making his Ottawa visit this weekend, many fans are wondering if he should be booed or not. Frankly speaking, I don't care either way but the fact that he has suddenly found his touch is understandably leaving many Sens fans quite bitter. I don't think DeBrincat was right for Ottawa - not because he wasn't skilled (because he really is), but a player who doesn't believe in what they do will never succeed. It became apparent that Alexander DeBrincat couldn't buy into the team or the city long before he decided to sign with another team. It's his right, he didn't choose to come to Ottawa and he simply couldn't fit in. Are we better off without him? Time will tell but so far I don't think he's really that missed. No matter what happens on Saturday, remember that if fans boo DeBrincat it's not because they're bad fans or bitter people, it's because this fanbase can no longer tolerate anything that will mess with the "vibes". A player admitting he got "lazy" in Ottawa doesn't deserve much love as far as I'm concerned - especially seeing the attitude our current players have towards this team and city. We deserve nothing less.
On Pierre Dorion and DJ Smith
Sens fans have endured years of sports rage and it has mostly been attributed to one single individual. With that individual no longer running the team, the only reminders of his time are Pierre Dorion and DJ Smith. Dorion has had the fanbase split for a long time but DJ Smith had lost the support of most the fanbase a long time ago. It's early in the season and there is no point jumping to conclusions and planning parades, we're not the delusional Ontarians after all, but let's assume for a minute that we are in strong contention by December, do we still trust Dorion and Smith to really take this team anywhere this season? I personally don't know and as someone who has been very vocal about my opinion of DJ Smith, at the end of the day I just want to see my team win. I wonder if the sentiment towards both of them will change if the season ends up being a success and whether that saves their jobs in the off season.
On a less serious note, when it comes to fantasy teams or betting; do you load up on Sens players or avoid them? I often found that if I choose a Sens player, I end up cursing them and now have developed this fear of ever picking a Sens player even in something as a trivial as the Tim's hockey challenge. I got to admit, I do have way too many superstitions when it comes to the Sens and I find the worse the team got, the worse the superstitions were so could it be possible that it becomes easier to let go of some of the control now that the team might just be becoming something really good? Do you have any other fantasy or betting superstitions?