Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cheering Our Team

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. 


  1. I don't know much about sports. Interesting though, about the flag.

  2. Hooray for the Senators! We were pulling for them and enjoyed watching them come from behind. I'd love to see them beat Montreal! Hopefully they have Carey Price's number.

  3. I am a charter fan of the Broad Street Bullies! That's right Maple Leaf Boy! Phila Flyers!
    Back in the glory days - I was there.

    This is the one thing we have found to disagree about, Wm!

    ALOHA from Honolulu,

  4. I am not fond of this kind of things, I see them but... do not care.


  5. Alas! Our beloved Caps just always seem to come up one puck short when it comes to the playoffs. :-)

  6. I don't follow hockey, but the guy who owns the Maple Leafs also owns a huge horse farm right in the middle of Ocala which he has put up for sale and that makes me angry 'cause it will probably be turned into shopping centers or condos or apartments. It would make a great park, but that ain't gonna happen.

  7. I do not like hockey but am always amazed out how loyal Maple Leafs fans as despite their team being totally useless!!!

  8. I've only been to a hockey game once in Illinois many years ago, and was never a big fan. In Texas it's mostly football, or it's the Spurs for basketball. Go Spurs.

  9. how very awesome! now you've got me rooting for the senators! :)

  10. I do not know much about hockey, but let me say: Go Senators!

  11. @Whisk: hockey is one of the few sports I can appreciate and follow. The same with baseball. Others, though, really don't suit me.

    @Elaine: they won more games playing Montreal this season, so hopefully that transfers to the playoffs.

    @Cloudia: it's strangely fitting that it was the Flyers our boys beat to clinch the playoffs.

    @Tomas: understandable. I don't get why soccer, or football as most of the world knows it, is so popular.

    @Revrunner: well they're in this year, but we'll see what they get done.

    @Lowell: uh oh!

    @Tanya: definitely!

    @Beth: I like the logo.

    @Gill: a couple of times a season in my writer's blog I totally skewer Leafs fans from their point of view.

    @Linda: and football and basketball I just can't get into!

    @Tex: I would love to see them win it all, but whatever happens, I'm proud of the way they've played getting into it.

    @VP: with any luck, they take it all.

  12. That is amazing that the Senators are doing so well this season. I wish them well. We don't watch hockey but often pick a team to follow to the Stanley Cup. Will it be the Sens or the Canadiens? Or maybe I should cheer for the Flames. We'll see.

  13. A lot of community pride on display here!

  14. Go Senators!!! Dontcha just love a come from behind story. MB

  15. Ending the year 21-3-3? You guys are RED hot to go with your unis.

  16. ps. You enter the Playoffs on a wicked roll. Now don't fall flat. Will someone pleeeeze knock the Habs on their asses?! hahahayha
    Go Sens!

  17. Congratulations, Senators. Good to know there are some Senators doing their job like they are supposed to. ;)

  18. @Pamela: it's been much too long since a Canadian team has won the Cup. Whoever wins, I would vastly prefer it to be a Canadian team.

    @Sharon: you also see little flags on a lot of cars!

    @MB: this one's been a fun story to follow.

    @Birdman: yes, it's been an astonishing run to the finish by the team. And I take it a Bruins fan like you really doesn't like the Habs? How stunning!

    @EG: yes, these ones do their jobs nicely. I've got cousins who are die hard Leafs fans. They must be grinding their teeth at the prospect of the Sens in the playoffs again and the Leafs once again left to the golf course. They would not be happy with me for this post!

  19. I have never been a hockey fan although you think I would be living in Montreal. LOL! :)

  20. Great to hear that they are so succesful!

  21. I don't follow hockey or any sports, but to those of you wod do oallow sports let the game begin.

  22. It is a sad time in Leaf Nation! An annual experience unfortunately!

  23. Not much good at hockey but it does make life more colourful at the end of winter!

  24. For you and the others fans I hope Andrew Hammond and the rest of the Senators keep winning.

  25. This may be a sacrilege, but I've never cared for the Leafs. If I have to be for a team, I like the Canadiens.

  26. Yea, Senators !
    Love rooting for the underdog. The team no one gives a chance to.
    I wondered how the Maple Leafs were doing ? what is with that team.

    cheers, parsnip

  27. We're bleeding Blues here. I wonder what will happen if our Blues end up facing your Sens for the Cup?

  28. @Linda: Montreal is to hockey what the New York Yankees are to baseball. Unthinkable without the franchise. Mind you, every other team's fans hate the Yankees, and the Habs don't have that problem. They're only despised by the Bruin and Leafs fans.

    @Marleen: and then there's the matter of the GM who's spent the season being treated for cancer. It's as if the team is playing for him. If you wrote this in a book, no one would ever believe it.

    @Red: now if only Don Cherry would fade into oblivion.

    @RedPat: the latest kick in the butt to Leafs Nation if you keep track of them as they go along.

    @Ciel: these days the season stretches well into June the way the playoffs go!

    @Jan: I hope they do keep winning. They came so close some years ago.

    @Eve: thanks!

    @Halcyon: the Habs are a great team, and a consistent one. The Leafs are only consistent at screwing up royally. It amazes me their fans remain so loyal to such a joke.

    @Parsnip: the fans keep believing every October, "this is our year", and every year, the Leafs bow out early to go golfing. Since the beginning of 2015, they won only eleven games total, and only one game on the road. That is appallingly bad.

    @Norma: in that case, I'll have to root for the Sens to bring the Blues down in four games.

  29. My family loves the leafs but looks not good. They are not tops they are becoming the bottom.
    I only like to watch the play offs. The young guys. They are really fast, young.Meaning lots of energy. The speed is tremendous.

  30. I don't pretend to understand it but good luck William...

  31. May the best team win! (Cop-out, I know)!


  32. I don't follow any sport either, but I hope your team wins!

  33. @Carolann: I grew up west of Toronto, but never rooted for the Leafs. The Sens have a lot of young guys on the team.

    @Geoff: I have the same reaction about soccer or cricket.

    @Janis: it is, but thanks!

    @Denise: I hope so!

    @Mari: thanks!

  34. Nothing like some good competition.

  35. I usually only watch hockey during the playoffs. I love that the city is already getting into the spirit and supporting their team. Good luck, Senators!

  36. Good luck!
    This looks similar to the US Superbowl fever we have every year. Despite their losing this year, Seahawks fans are still proudly wearing the team emblem.

  37. Wow! Exciting for the fans and the rookie must be ecstatic! Good luck to them!

  38. @Andy: well, this year wasn't a good one for the team. We need to trade the owner.

    @Randy: true!

    @SRQ: that was quite a year for the team.

    @Kay: hockey is king in Canada.

    @Cheryl: if only it had happened this year.

    @Jim: so do I.