Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs might want to wipe their tears with their blue and white handkerchiefs and avoid this.
The NHL playoffs get underway here tonight. At season's start, many experts said that only one Canadian team, the Montreal Canadiens, would make the playoffs. Five of seven teams have made it- Montreal, the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames, the Winnipeg Jets, and the Ottawa Senators. The Senators had been written off by late January as having two percent chances of making the playoffs. Then something odd happened.
A goaltender was called up from the minor leagues with no NHL play after the team's two regular players were sidelined with injuries. Andrew Hammond went on to start winning games and recording shutouts, as well as tying a goaltender's record going back seventy plus years. The team kept winning. And winning. And winning some more. In the final two months of the season, they became the hottest team in the game. And so it was last weekend that they secured a playoff berth. The city is happy, and Ottawa will be meeting Montreal in the first round. Those final weeks of the season, the team played with heart, fire, spirit, integrity, and character. It's been fun to see it all happen.
Elgin Street south of City Hall is home to a good many restaurants and pubs. It has been tradition here during the playoffs to add the Sens Mile mark to the street signs on Elgin. Such has now been done, including at this intersection (the church behind it is Knox Presbyterian, which I showed you during Doors Open last year).
A Senators flag is hanging in this hair salon down the street. This is typical of many businesses along Elgin Street. The deeper our team goes into the playoffs, the more of this we'll see.
And the team flag is flying outside the Heritage Building at City Hall. I will be back at the City Hall property tomorrow for something rather different... involving a different kind of senator.