-Mark Stone. Seeing his reaction to scoring a clutch OT goal after a lackluster tournament and seeing him beat himself up on Twitter (“#needtofigureitout”) would have brought a tear to my eye if I wasn’t so busy waking up the neighbours with shouts of jubilation. For a guy with so many skeptics, weary of his quick rise in the leader board in the WHL last season, he made many a believer with that shot. If that’s what a poor skater looks like, then we need more of them. Love the potential for nicknames too. I hope he hangs around.
Colour Me Impressed
-The Ottawa Senators 20th Anniversary season. So far, it’s real good. The launch of the Sens20.ca website yesterday continues the list of stellar initiatives by the organization aimed to commemorate this historic season. Usually a 20th anniversary is celebrated with a gift of fine china or platinum. We lucked out. We got an All-Star Game, new jerseys and a website full of images of undercuts, earth tone suits and double-wide ties. This is shaping up to be a fun year with all the sideshows and nostalgia. Let’s be thankful hockey teams don’t celebrate turning 19 like most people. Although, last year would have been more tolerable if the party never ended.
-The Senators appear to have figured out social media. I was shocked to see the Sens Facebook page directing me to a Leafs stream of the rookie game last night. I’ve been impressed with their attempts to reach out and interact. The first goal prediction idea is fantastic despite the fact I’m already 0/3. I’ll be happy when Pageau is returned to Gatineau so I can resist selecting him for once. The photo mosaic is also pretty clever. I still remember the day I signed the Hockey Country banner. That stuff is priceless. Literally, that’s why it’s so clever. Good on ya, accounting department.-The quality of Ontario peaches this season. I’ll admit I’m a huge peach guy. Even by my standards they have been fantastic. I haven’t gotten this much fibre in my diet since I found out Metamucil wasn’t a liqueur.
-Mika. One word says it all. The world has known Pele, Madonna, Slash and now Ottawa has Mika. This may be the most excited I’ve been about a Senators draft pick since a mysterious blonde bombshell named Brian graced the draft stage in 2005. The summer Muckler solved our PMD problems was one of the best of my life. Brian Lee would later break my heart but I’ve learned to love again. Mika is his name and I hope he doesn’t mind if we make a big deal about it.-The length of Don Brennan’s vacation. Where has this guy been? Is anyone from Friends of Landsdowne missing?
-Youngblood. Saw this flick again recently. I haven't seen it in ages. I had forgotten that Rob Lowe had the fewest lines in lead actor history. We know little to nothing about him except for his fascination with "those Canucks" and their hockey fights. He would have fit in well in with today’s media.-The fact you can pre-order the new jerseys. As a big music collector, nothing beats a solid pre-order with some extra goodies for being a good patron. Can’t wait to see ‘NEW – LTD EDITION/ORIGINAL PACKAGING/ SENATORS HERITAGE JERSEY – PRE-ORDER EDITION’ on eBay in five years selling for triple the price.
Colour Me Unimpressed-The history of the Senators logos and jerseys on Sens20.ca It’s really hard revisiting all the horrible Senators jerseys from the past 10 years or so beginning with that 1999 road kit. If you think the Mona Lisa has shifty eyes try and escape the glare of the Spartan that artistic perspective forgot. It pains me to know if I had only been younger it could have been me who won the logo design contest in 2nd grade and not some other adolescent.
-Turnout at the rookie camp. It was conveniently located just 45 minutes from the centre of the hockey universe. Are Leafs tickets so expensive that fans couldn’t shell out for a rookie game? Or was it just a matter of refusing to acknowledge the vastly superior systemic depth? Either way, it’s okay Toronto. Just close your eyes plug your ears and scream “Kadri” repeatedly and you will find bliss. The young kids in red were never here and never won anything.-Bryan Murray taking a few shots at Clouston like Leaf rookie Garret Clarke on a restrained Corey Cowick. After seeing all the earth tone suits earlier I can’t help but feel some pity for Clouston. Let's just let him go quietly into the night and forget what happened here. At least he can rest easily at night knowing he is just part of a long line of coaches who donned bad taupe suits. Has the term Hockey Coach Couture has been coined yet?
-The fact there is no Twitter Hall of Fame. If there was, Mark Borowiecki would adorn the walls for this gem.-Race car numbers at the Rookie Tournament. Pierre Gauthier would have had a conniption fit if he saw what was going on. Even the Rogers Community Television guys, bless their hearts for trying, remarked that the equipment mangers must have been scrambling to find extra 6’s, 7’s, and 8’s. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s human condition, but for the life of me I have a heck of a time remembering number/name combinations when they’re above 50. Had to make myself a nice little cheat sheet. Not that it matters, I gave up after the first period and just focused on number 93.
-The Loud Crowd. Call them whatever you want (I’m sure they’ll be called many things) but at the end of the day the Ottawa Senators now have cheerleaders. When I first saw this I wasn’t sure if I should laugh, vomit or avoid games all together. Not sure I can handle the inevitable awkwardness of having a 17-year old student council type yelling at me to do the wave.-New food options at Scotiabank Place. Egg rolls have arrived but they’re only available in suites and through Club-level seats/concessions. Don’t worry my friend in the 300’s, you get new food options as well, like better tasting hotdogs! I like a good hotdog and egg roll as much as next guy, but once in a while I want food at a hockey game that isn’t:
1. Beige/light yellow (pretzels, popcorn, peanuts, nachos, beer, hot dogs, chips etc.)
2. Deep fried or covered in salt
3. From a franchise located on every second block in the city
C’mon, if you’re going to go in a new direction with food, at least go in a new direction and offer us something colourful and healthy. It doesn’t even have to be that healthy. Just make sure it didn’t originate from a vat of oil or a research lab. Just be thankful Bert’s Bar isn’t preparing them.
-This image that appears on the Shop.NHL.com page. Could the NHL have found a more unflattering photo of Gabbo? I call this look the Winnipeg smile.
-Red Scarf Union advertising themselves as the "BEST fans". I'm sorry, but you guys need to be careful with your language. Try to be a bit more inclusive. You're supposed to add to the environment at the rink, not prop yourselves up on a pedestal and await looks of admiration from us "MEDIOCRE fans" in every other section. You know what makes the best fans? People who support the team however they can with what they have. This isn't the Premiership and there are no terrace's to rule here. Try again.
Colour Me All The Way Down the 401
Graeme leaked this on Twitter a few days ago but I feel obliged to announce that I'll be moving to Toronto in the coming weeks. I'll be starting a new weekly column tentatively titled "Hintonburg to Hogtown" in which I'll shed light on how the other half of Ontario lives. The podcasts will continue for the time being, including our 50th episode which will be recorded this weekend. We're already investigating how we can go about recording in the future with both of us in different locations. If any of you ultra-tech inclined readers out there have any suggestions please float us an email or send us a tweet.Don't cry for me Ottawa, I'll be okay. I've already won a few beer bets during the Rookie Tournament and look forward to taking more pints from my friends in the future. I'll toast every one of those pints to the city I left behind.