It’s a sad day in Sens land. The Ducks did to the Sens what the Sens had done to the Penguins, Devils and Sabres. The Ducks played their game and played in a way that made the Sens play in a way they didn’t want to. The Sens just couldn’t find a way to get back to the way they played in the first three rounds of the play-offs. They lost to a better team and there’s no shame in that.
As I watched Scott Neidermayer receiving the Conn Smythe my eyes burn with tears and I turned off the television and turned on the radio. Just can’t watch Neidermayer being handed the Cup. That could have been Alfredsson’s Con Smythe. That could have been Alfredsson lifting the Cup. But while I feel great sadness, I am also proud of my Ottawa Senators. And, after hearing the post-game show, I’m happy to hear that many other fans feel the same way.
If you had told me (and many other Sens fans) during October or November, that the Sens would not only make the play-offs but also make it to the Stanley Cup Final, we would of looked at you like you were crazy. But they turned things around and went into the play-offs ready to prove all their critics wrong. And, through the first three rounds, they did just that. Getting to the Stanley Cup Finals is still an accomplishment, and they will learn from the experience of losing.
The Sens played their hearts out, and players such as Fisher and Phillips gave us many reasons to be proud. But the player, I’m most proud of is Alfredsson, even though he did something really stupid in Game 4. Here was a guy who was known to work hard during the play-offs, but never getting the results. This year, he was tied for first in play-off points (22), first in goals (14), first in powerplay goals (6), and first in game winning goals (4). He was the Sens MVP in the play-offs. If only he could have the hardware to go with his most successful post-season.
I’m also proud of the Sens fans. We showed the hockey world that the fans in Ottawa aren’t quiet and boring. We showed such support for our team, with thousands of people celebrating in the downtown core and showing up at the airport to greet our team (BTW, their plane is suppose to touch down at 5:30 at the Ottawa Airport today). We made our boys proud of us, just like they made us proud of them.
So, hold your heads up high Sens fans. There’s no shame in losing to the Ducks. They deserved to win, as much as it hurts to admit it. Plus, there’s always next year, right?