Sens Army proud of the boys despite playoff exit

Members of the Sens Army were still saluting their team after the Pittsburgh Penguins ended Ottawa’s playoff run in a crushing 6-2 loss.

“These guys, they fought the whole way through. You could see, even when we were down like, three goals with like, 10 minutes to go, you could see, they were still trying,” said Jon Kung of Gloucester.

“They weren’t going to lay down. They were going to play the whole way. So I was proud to be a fan.”

Despite Ottawa trailing during the entire game, Kung still watched.

“I thought about turning it off near the end,” he said.

But after the Boston-Toronto series “where I was like ‘look at all these fans like, leaving, and then (Boston) made the huge comeback,” in Game 7, he decided to stick with it.

Going into Friday’s Game 5, the Sens were down 3-1 in the series.

“I thought they played pretty well but Pittsburgh was just too good for them,” said Garret Lakusiak, who lives near Carp.

The Penguins are advancing to the Eastern Conference final.

Scoring one victory against the Pens was still better than getting swept, though.

“I think it gave the fans a bit of hope,” said Lakusiak.

Although Glebe resident Andrew McDermott has been a Day One supporter, he admits expectations were low.

“Pittsburgh has played a really, really good series so far, and they’re a top contender,” said McDermott.

He was optimistic the Sens could turn it around “because they did win one game in Pittsburgh and there was a chance that they could pull it together, but you know, unfortunately, they just couldn’t get their act together and (here’s) wishing them the best for next year,” said McDermott.

With the shortened NHL season beginning in January — following a 113-day lockout — fans didn’t hesitate to climb back on the bandwagon.

“I wish it hadn’t happened and that but once they sorted it out, I was right back in it,” said Rob Annan from the Glebe.

“It’s a business. I think fans have to understand that.”

Did the Sens and the NHL win back supporters?

“I don’t know if they’ve forgiven. I think they’ve probably forgotten though,” Annan laughs.

McDermott said he thinks fans will support the team, regardless.

“I mean, I think that people acknowledge the fact the strike is ridiculous,” he said.

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

@ottawasunkroche

http://www.ottawasun.com/2013/05/25/sens-army-proud-of-the-boys-despite-playoff-exit

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