There’s a new mantra in Ottawa tonight

There’s a new mantra in Ottawa tonight.  If you are an Ottawa Senators fan or an NHL lover, you will know exactly what I am talking about.  It goes like this: “PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU, PAGEAU….PAGEAU, PAGEAU”  sung to the tune of that other popular NHL chant OLÈ, OLÈ, OLÈ, OLÈ….OLÈ OLÈ

Pageau

 

The Ottawa Senators beat the visiting New York Rangers, 6-5 in double overtime, after being down 5-3 with a little over 3 minutes left in regulation time.  What a comeback, what a game!  The win puts the Senators ahead 2-0 in a best of 7 game series, round two in the NHL playoffs for the Stanley Cup.

Pageau

The reason for the mantra is that Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored 4 of the 6 Ottawa goals, including the OT winner.   To be more precise, 4 goals in 4 shots on net.  I would love to know Henrik Lundqvist’s (the Rangers’ goaltender) thoughts as he saw him streaking down the ice towards him in overtime.  Maybe, “oh no, not him again”

The fans serenaded him a few times tonite with the mantra (after each goal) but none louder than during his solo skate as he was announced the first star of the game.  It was absolutely deafening, in fact, you could not hear the announcer declare him the first star.  Not that he had to, we all knew who the best guy on the ice was tonight.

The fans were still chanting as they cleared out of the CTC, to the parking lots and beyond, honking their car horns and waving their flags…

My voice is hoarse; I too was chanting and cheering at the top of my lungs.

New NHL intentional injuries rule called for

I believe that a new NHL rule should be implemented to reduce intentional injuries in hockey.  The rule would apply to those players that viciously injure their opponents putting them out of the game and possibly several games.  The offending player should be suspended for as many games as the injured player is out. Simple. Effective. Fair. Justice.

There are far too many whacks with the hockey sticks (slashing in hockey lingo) injuring players.  I am not talking about incidental nips, I am referring to the intentional slashes at a players hand. Two years ago P.K. Subban of the (then) Montreal Canadiens put Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators out for the season with a fractured wrist from a slash to the hand.

It should not matter if the victim or the offender is the best player in the league or a fourth liner; the rule should be consistent to make it effective.  The quality of player is another can of worms; many believe Sidney Crosby (arguably the best player in the NHL) gets away with much more than the average player because of his elevated status in the game.

Did you see the whack (slash) on Marc Methot’s hand compliments of the great Sidney Crosby last night as the Ottawa Senators played (beat) the Pittsburgh Penguins?  Maybe not the slash, because apparently, the referees did not see that either.  Although it was displayed on the scoreboard for the Ottawa fans at the game to see.   We (viewers at home too) all saw Methot’s bloody finger with the nail and skin hanging off the end.  We all saw Crosby skate off with a bored (no remorse there) look on his face too. No apology was issued either.   Word is if the hit had been higher on the hand, Methot may have lost his finger.

intentional injuries
Marc Methot missing part of his finger thanks to Sidney Crosby

 

Another funny (not really) fact is that high sticks, regardless of whether they are intentional or not, are always penalized.  In fact, the victim tries very hard to produce blood to get an additional two minutes added to the penalty.   The referee even checks the victim over for the presence of blood before deciding to give the perpetrator two or four minutes in the sin bin.

The blood was pretty evident at the end of Methot’s finger, for all to see.  No penalty call from the refs though.  Was that because Sidney Crosby was the offender?  Sure looked that way…

Methot is out for several weeks; Crosby is playing again tonight.  Where is the justice in that?  A new NHL injury rule might help, certainly wouldn’t hurt!

 

Bipartisan hockey fans

There is nothing worse when you go to an NHL game to support the home team and there are more (and louder) hockey fans supporting the opposing team.  This happens alot at Ottawa Senators‘  home games.  It is bad enough watching on TV, but when you are actually at the game it is brutal.  Last night was a great example when the Senators hosted the Montreal Canadians.  If you were listening to the game from a distance (not right in front of the TV) you could not tell which team scored when the commentator yelled “scores!”

I assume this bipartisan crowd phenomenon is because anyone that has moved to Ottawa for work as an adult is old enough to have grown up with another team as their favourite.  On the flip side, anyone younger than 30 years of age living in Ottawa has grown up with the Senators as their home team since the Senators franchise was only revived in Ottawa in 1992, after being off the NHL radar since 1934.

I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario a small city a little over an hour east and south of Ottawa.  In the sixties and seventies, if you lived in Cornwall, hockey fans cheered for the Montreal Canadians or the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The choice was predominantly based on whether you were French-speaking (Montreal) or English speaking (Toronto).  My father was an avid Toronto Maple Leaf fan, so we six children were too.  When I moved to Ottawa and had three sons, as soon as they were old enough to love hockey and the Senators, I was a convert.

However, when I moved to Ottawa and had three sons, as soon as they were old enough to love hockey and the Senators, I was a convert.  It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of a local team, especially as we live 5 minutes from the Canadian Tire Center, the arena the Senators call home.

Whatever happened to home ice advantage?

hockey fans