Great win, back and forth action, and amazing overtime. Hate blowing a two-goal lead, but the right team came out on top after a solid effort top to bototm.
Nick Foligno broke his leg on the shot block and is out 6-8 weeks. Awful news for a guy that has been playing well. Donovan or Winchester - who takes his spot?
Nine in a row, baby!
We all know that the Outdoor Classic on New Year's Day is a huge hit for the league. This year was no exception as the venue was great, the game was competitive, and the weather held up. A real great time.
I can make an argument that Hockey Day in Canada is just as special of a day for hockey fans...just not to NBC. There's something really amazing about how the event is put together in small town Canada, showing our true passion for the game and sharing so many incredible stories about the people and their love of hockey. It's funny that NBC has the Winter Classic to try and promote hockey to mainstream sports fans. In my opinion, if a mainstream sports fan really wanted to understand what this great sport meant to its passionate followers, they needn't do anything more than watch a few hours of Hockey Day in Canada. One of my favourite traditions on the schedule.
Perhaps what makes this one even better is that our team is playing so well right now. I've made no secret about my love for this team, but also about my cautious opinion on their ability to crank into the top eight. As it stands today, I'm eating my words. We're playing so well that instead of looking at the standings and saying how far up we are on 9th place, we're actually looking to see how far we are from 4th place!
I was listening to my iPod in the car on the way home from work today and on random play, the Sens theme song came on. If you think it's weird that I have the Sens theme song on my iPod, then you need to get a hold of yourself. It's a beauty of a song. Anyway, it got me thinking of some memories I have of the team over the successful years and how amazing it would be to get back to the playoffs. You know, it can be something that teams, fans, etc., can start to take for granted. Look at the Atlanta Braves when they were running the NL East for 13 years - their fans stopped coming to divisional series and just waited for the NLCS (if it came). It is safe to say that we ran into that trap a bit, too, don't you think? Of course we still packed the place, but we were always just assuming that we'd go through the 82 game stretch and then focus on the 'real' games. I compare it to the feeling you have when your car breaks down for a few days and you realize how crappy things can be when you don't have something that you assumed would always be there to help you.
But a funny thing happened after the Finals trip, didn't it? We now haven't won a playoff game since losing Game Five in Anaheim.
As the Sens theme song came on, I started thinking about the Duchesne goal to get us into the postseason in 1996, of the Tugnutt goal in Game Seven in Buffalo, of the back and forth games with the Leafs, of the heartbreaking loss to the Devils in 2003, of Patty Lalime owning the Flyers that same year, and then of the new rivalry with the Slugs with the pinnacle being the five game series win against the 1st place Slugs in 2007. Goosebumps, people. Think about those games, think about where you were, think about the excitement of every goal, every hit, every odd man rush. Holy crow, do I ever miss the playoffs!
Anyway, if you were wondering where this random ramble came from, it was just from thinking about Hockey Day in Canada and just how great it is to have a team that makes you proud to follow. Beyond the lunchpail approach, the blue collar workmanship, the solid effort, these guys are just fun to watch. For the first time this year, I started actually thinking about what it would be like to win a few playoff games. So as we take on the toilet seat tomorrow, I'm going to be thinking of the amazing game we love, the amazing team we bleed for, and the amazing possibilities of getting back into the playoffs.
Happy Hockey Day in Canada, Sens Fans!