AN OTTAWA SENATORS FAN DOES WHAT SENS FANS (AND PLAYERS, AND COACHES, AND OWNERS—EVEN THEIR FUCKING ZAMBONI DRIVERS) DO BEST.
There are certain ineffable signs of impending spring in Canada: frozen dog turds exposed after months under wrap; excited budget chatter in the House of Commons (same thing, really); tulips and rainbows in Vancouver (oh wait, I forgot Gay Pride is all year long…). And the most telling sign of all—Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson riding the bike in the dressing room amidst a scrum of reporters peppering him about why/how the high-and-mighty Senators managed to once again blow their sure-thing bid for Lord Stanley’s shiny mug. Alfredsson never has anything interesting to say, nor any logical explanation for choking on it. And this year is likely to be no different. But this time, it seems, there’s an even earlier portent of Senators late-season ineptitude and heartless play: after a 12-game stretch in which they lost twice to arch-rivals, the sad-sack Maple Leafs, and won only four contests, the solution they came up with to end the doldrums was to fire their top two coaches, John Paddock and Kevin Low right after the trade deadline. Or was that right after they lost 4-0 to Boston after losing 5-0 to Toronto? Whatever. Firing two coaches is rad. It sends all the right signals. And makes all sorts of sense—especially if your General Manager is the guy who coached the team to its last Stanley Cup final appearance. “Step aside douchebags, I’m taking the fuck over,” says Bryan Murray, now re-installed behind the bench. The Sens may indeed rally to turn it around, but their fate is still clear: They will be Losers. Again. And Alfreddson’s annual bike ride will seem, well, more pointless than ever.
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