May 03, 2007

The Senators Have Changed

I've got a confession to make.

I'm actually enjoying the Ottawa Senators' playoff run. They're an entertaining squad, and man oh man, these aren't the Senators of days gone bye.

The Senators have changed. The Senators are ready. They're on the cusp. As a man who bleeds blue and white, this is about as blasphemous as it gets, but I can't keep this inside any longer. A part of me likes Ottawa Senators hockey these days. A part of me is rooting for the Ottawa Senators. It's sick, I know.

This isn't easy, my friends, believe me.

Never would I have thought it would come to this. The Senators were always the lame chokers that I loved to laugh at. The team that just couldn't get the job done. The team that would dominate the Maple Leafs in the regular season but somehow manage to lose to Toronto in the playoffs. Four straight years. Ah, those were good times.

But times have changed. My worst nightmare has always been the prospect of Ottawa winning the Stanley Cup before the Leafs. If that happens, and it's looking more and more likely now, I've got nothing left. All us Leafs fans have left on Ottawa is those playoff beatings. The ones I'm still clinging on to til this day.

Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I'm jealous of the Ottawa Senators. It's true.

The Sens were always the laughing stock. I laughed at the inability of guys like Marian Hossa, Radek Bonk, Alexei Yashin, Andreas Dackell and Zdeno Chara to get it done in the playoffs. But not anymore. Those useless guys have all been shipped out of town.

Today, I'd kill for guys like Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley, Mike Fisher and Ray Emery to be in the blue and white. I've always had a soft spot for Fisher, and Emery is quickly becoming one of my favourite goalies in the league. It pains me to say that, because he wears the dreaded Senators uniform, but it's the truth, God dammit.

I figured the Senators totally screwed Spezza's development up, what with the constant trips back and forth to the minors, and the benching's and the 4th line duty. But under Bryan Murray he's blossomed into a bonafide star in this league. He's got tremendous vision and is one of the more underrated passers in the league. And the kid can dangle. Ask Sheldon Souray. He's been posterized by Spezza, twice.

When guys like Mike Comrie and Dean McCammond are dropping the gloves, you know the culture has changed over in the nation's capital. These simply aren't the Senators of old, the Senators I constantly ridiculed.

Ottawa's got it right, and they're one win away from another trip to the final four. I think they're the team to beat in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has a good chance to win the Stanley Cup.

What the hell has the world come to?

I hope John Ferguson Jr. is taking notes, because Ottawa has put together one helluva team. I'm impressed. I'm a Leafs fan, how can I not be? It doesn't take much, after all.

I still can't believe I'm writing this. At least one thing hasn't changed, and that's my hate for Chris Neil. I want to kick him in his nuts.

I feel sick. I'm jealous of the Ottawa Senators! It's tough to swallow. I want Heatley. And Fisher. And Spezza. And Meszaros. And Volchenkov (this kid was BORN to block shots, he reminds me of Danny Markov, but better). Did anyone else see Alfredsson absolutely flatten a Devils player? Alfredsson! Unbelievable. How come Mats Sundin never lays anybody out like that? Sigh...

You know I've reached a new low when I'm comparing my Mats to Daniel freakin' Alfredsson.

I feel like Ace Ventura after he found out Finkle was Einhorn.

I'm gonna go put on "The Crying Game", burn my clothes, and stand in the shower crying uncontrollably.

I'm sorry Leafs Nation...


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