Wednesday, January 15, 2003

On a Roll

In an amazing turn of events, the Ottawa Senators NHL franchise is the best in the NHL at the mid-way mark of the season (as of Wednesday at 4 pm). The irony: now that the team's good, its owners have gone bankrupt and can't pay the players. Only in Canada, man. Anyway, now there's a huge messy bid going on by the guy who kinda owned it but kinda didn't, Rod Bryden, so now he can own the team outright, and buy it and bargain-basement banruptcy prices, which is fine by me if the team stays in the city. Wanna learn more? Read this.

So now in Ottawa there's this whole "Save the Senators" kick going on. The team's become a charity case. On TV and in the newspapers and even at the water cooler, there's all this pressure to sell out every game and keep the team in Ottawa. Which is cool, because ever since the team started up here, most people haven't given a damn about having a team at all. Many of my friends and co-workers almost seem to be embarrassed to admit that they're a Sens fan. Hopefully, no longer.

Anyway, I have to admit, I usually don't follow the early half of the season. It's still to early to tell if the team's doing well, and every win is great and all, but doesn't seem to count for much (which it does, of course, it just seems that way). But around about now, I start paying attention and start entertaining ideas that maybe this year the Sens could go all the way to the Cup. If you care about that sort of thing, of course.

So, usually, I see a couple of games live in a year. Not as many as an avid fan, but I probably go out to a game more often than a lot of Ottawa folk. Anyway, long before this whole "Save the Sens" thing started, I had tickets to see last night's game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In true form, Stacey and I were running late to meet her parents at the arena. Which, of course, meant that we had to get drive-thru dinner. I hate diver-thru. I don't know why, but every single freaking time, I manage to get myself covered in ketchup and mayonnaise. I manage to cover myself in the stuff even if it isn't even on what I'm eating. It's like condiments know that I'm eating drive-thru and position themselves to slop onto my ski-jacket whenever I twitch a muscle, just to spite me.

This occasion was no exception. Just as we were pulling away from the restaurant, ooops, there goes a pickle, covered entirely in sauce. It's funny how quickly a five-dollar meal can become a twenty dollar dry-cleaning bill sometimes.

Then, in a harrowing race to the Corel Centre, the building where the Sens play, involving juggling cartons full of fries, cutting off and getting cut off by this one guy in a mini van no less than five times, and pulling the wrong way into our parking spot, we emerged into the blistering cold to trek the long walk across the multiple parking lots to the arena. The Sens management have courteously provided a sheltered tunnel linking the front door and the lots to help keep people warm as they’re walking to arena. Unfortunately, when they were planning the shelter out, they neglected to plan for a roof and an adequate number of walls to actually keep the fans even remotely warm. The wind rips through this thing like Michael's rhinoplasty surgeon through his decomposing nose.

The game was excellent. It's hard to complain about a 7-0 victory. Patrick Lalime got yet another shutout (third straight!), the Tampa goalie, Nikolai Khabibulin, got sent to the locker room half way through the third (much to the delight and jeering glee of the fans), and Ottawa's favourite charity played to a full house.

So, if you’re planning on being in Ottawa, you should catch a game. It’s like watching playoff hockey right now at the Corel Centre, and if things go badly, you might not get another chance.


Post a Comment

<< Home