There is no Ottawa Senators

Wed Oct 5 22:33:30 2005 EST (-0500 GMT)

In my first post I mentioned that one of the reasons I started blogging is I had nothing to do with the NHL lockout. Tonight the Leafs faced the Senators to open their seasons and prove why Canadians love this sport and fall asleep during baseball games.

The rule changes were noticeable. The game started with a lot of penalties, as the reff’ing is now very literal and strict and less arbitrary, which in the end is a positive development but one everyone (players and fans) will have to get used to. The removal of the red line WAS GREAT! It sped the game up and made for more scoring chances.

The most important part about tonight’s game was it was the first NHL game to be settled by a shootout. The Leafs lead the game at 1-0 until the third when it was tied at 2-2, from there after 5 minutes of four-on-four overtime the Senators won the first NHL game to be settled by a shutout. Needless to say whomever it was at TSN who responsible for buying the NHL contract this year felt vindicated that their most popular game of the whole season ended in the NHL’s first shutout.

There was a time when Senators fans spent more time booing the Leafs then cheering for their team. Senators fans where just waiting to get their chance to prove their worth to Leafs fans…… and Leafs fans didn’t care. Between 1996 and 2001 Sens fans lived on hatred of the Leafs…… and Leafs fans were pretty sure that Ottawa had an NHL team. Lately the Sens would win more games in the regular season than the Leafs did, a fact that galvanized Ottawa, and was almost unknown in Toronto. But then Sens had some great seasons and overcame serious financial trauma….. and the Leafs defeated them in the playoffs three years running and made money hand over fist.

That all changed tonight: not only did the Sens beat the Leafs, but Leafs fans boooed the whole team, not just Alferdson, but the whole Ottawa Senators team. Leafs fans have bought into this rivalry as much as Sens fans have, and that is how the Sens have really beat the Leafs.

Leafs fans, I implore you, forget about Ottawa, Like any other 13 year old, you shouldn’t reward or acknowledge their aggression.

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