Sens faithful are still an optimistic bunch, despite team captain Daniel Alfredsson missing Game 3 vs. New York due to a concussion.
“Without Alfie, doesn’t matter,” said Orléans resident Eric Lauzon, as he walked toward Scotiabank Place for the Senators’ first home game of the series against the Rangers Monday night.
Gatineau’s Mike Singh agreed with Lauzon.
“I have no worries,” said Singh.
Alfredsson took an elbow to the head from Rangers forward Carl Hagelin in Game 2 Saturday. Hagelin was given a three-game suspension. by the NHL
As droves of fans made their way into the arena, many stopped to comment on the post-season vibe.
“It’s been a few years since we have been in the playoffs. I think there’s a lot more energy in the crowd and people are going to be cheering a lot more,” said Tim Finigan of Carleton Place.
Nepean’s Faqrudin Ali became a Sens fan about five years ago.
“We have a chance against the Rangers, so we’re pretty excited. Hopefully, we (make it) to the second round,” said Ali.
He was looking forward to seeing Alfie.
“I’ve gotta see him (play) one more time before he retires or something,” said Ali.
Going into the arena with his brother, Rashid, the pair had their prized tickets at $185 apiece.
“But it’s good seats, so it’s worth it,” said Ali.
Rangers diehards were also in the house.
“Seven-hour drive all day, all morning. Left at 8 a.m. this morning. Pumped, pumped for the game,” said Evan Ciampi of Stony Point, N.Y.
“Rangers are going to come back strong, you know.”
He drove up with his father, Sam Ciampi, also sporting a blue jersey.
“We’re going to miss Hagelin, but that was a lousy call on (NHL vice-president of safety Brendan) Shanahan’s part,” he said.
Ryan Norenberg, 10, spent 30 minutes painting his face red, white, and black before making the trek from Kemptville with his family for Monday’s game.
April Sadler, 11, of Barrhaven was also with her parents and eight-year-old sister.
She plays goalie and has a one word strategy for the Sens going forward.