As Sens fans look forward to the pivotal Game 5, and debate over whether or not guys like Jakob Silfverberg and Mark Stone could be ready to contribute to this team's playoff run, we have the latest edition of "Tom Says...".
This week Tom looks at the Sens improbable run this season.
Yesterday the NHL released another edition of the “Because it’s The Cup” ads, this time featuring the Ottawa Senators (see it here). The ad is great and really hits the nail on the head when looking back on where the Senators started this season and where they are now. I think for most Senators fans this ad really does encapsulate the emotion of this season and the way we all feel about this team.
“Because 5 months ago outsiders didn’t give them a chance”
It’s no secret that the Senators were counted out almost unanimously among the “experts” when the season began. Not a damn person outside of this city thought the Senators would even get a sniff at the playoffs let alone the 29th spot. Through our first 6 games, the Senators held a record of 1-5 and things were looking grim. After a couple of embarrassing losses to Philadelphia and Colorado, Paul Maclean sat down with his leadership group and hashed out a plan to make sure this team wouldn’t fulfill these prophecies. Play as a team, win as a team.
“Because the Sens Army never doubted it.”
So as a Sens fan, reading day in and day out that your team will have trouble even being competitive on any given night starts to take its toll mentally. When you love something as much as we all love this team it starts to become frustrating that next to no one is giving your guys a fighting chance. Are they really as bad as everyone says?
It became very obvious early in the season that this team was special. They might not have the most talent, or the name recognition that you expect to find on a playoff bound team, but the Sens didn’t seem to think that was an issue and it didn’t seem to be an issue to the fans in this city either.
It’s pretty obvious that this feeling has expanded tenfold into the playoffs. The city is alive with Sens fever. Listening to the players tell it, the crowd support drives them even harder. Scotiabank Place was electric in games 3 and 4. You could feel the building shaking. You could feel the city’s excitement in every Go Sens Go chant, or Alfie countdown. The epitome of this came during a TV timeout in which the crowd at SBP cheered louder than I have ever heard, on their feet screaming for the entire 2 or 3 minute break in action. The players had no choice but to hear it. You could see them soaking it in and building them back up. We didn’t doubt them for a second.
“Because this story’s ending has yet to be written.”
Tied at 2 games apiece in their Eastern Conference quarter final matchup against the New York Rangers, Ottawa is as alive as ever. Nothing has changed. They are the same team now that they were in the regular season except for one difference. They are hungrier. They want it more than anything.
Its pretty obvious that every single member of this team has bought into the “Family” mantra that has shown up in every interview they have given in the past few weeks. They are playing for each other and don’t seem to care that they can still barely get any backing from anyone the in main stream media (I’m looking at you Stan Fischler). Four games have been played, and in my humble opinion the Senators have been the better team in the last three games. They know they can beat New York. They’ve done it all season. Like Chris Neil said to Colin Greening and Zack Smith before scoring the Game 2 OT winner, “Why not now? Why not us?”
“Because it’s time the cup returns to Ottawa.”
Now this is a bit of a stretch. The Sens have an incredibly difficult road ahead of them. Even getting out of the first round is no guarantee by any means, but if you have watched this team at all this season you know that crazier things have happened. Because it’s The Cup.
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