There’s a new mantra in Ottawa tonight

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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

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.

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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 Pageau 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.

Bipartisan hockey fans

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There is nothing worse when you go to an NHL hockey game to support the home team and there are more (and louder) 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, you either 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?