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Puempel: Nothing Like Fans In A Canadian City

Thursday, 30.06.2011 / 11:27 AM

(Left-winger Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes was one of three first-round picks by the Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. He’ll be sharing some thoughts about participating in his first Sens development camp in a series of blog posts for ottawasenators.com).

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the number of fans we’ve had come out to watch us at the Bell Sensplex so far this week. It’s all new to me and it makes it that much more exciting. I think the players love it just as much as the fans do and it’s great to see all that support. It’s pretty big and when you have the support, teams feed off that. When you’re winning in a city like this, it’s great and it gives you that much more motivation to keep winning, as opposed to a city that doesn’t show that much interest.

I was on the ice with Nikita Filatov yesterday and you could tell, by the number of fans watching us and cheering for us, that hockey is definitely much bigger in a Canadian city in the NHL. You’re not used to that when you come out on the ice, but it’s definitely nice to see. If there’s that many fans out at a little two-person skate, I’m sure at the games, when you’re winning and stuff like that, it becomes that much more exciting in the city. It’s nice to see and it’s fun.

You could say I get a little taste of that in Peterborough, where there’s such a tradition of junior hockey with the Petes. You’re definitely known around the city and it’s much better when you’re winning. I think it’s good to have that atmosphere around your team. For sure, you’re well known and as you get older and as you move up on the team, you have to watch what you do that much more. I can see all of that helping me here in Ottawa someday. That kind of interest makes hockey that much more exciting and you have to be just as good a person off the ice as you are on the ice.

I talked to Nikita quite a bit when we were out on the ice together and he’s a really nice guy. He’s played in the NHL, so he knows what it takes to get there. To be around guys like that can only make you better, so it was a lot of fun to skate with him. He’s such a good player. We were doing a lot of skating and you could tell how good of a skater he is. You definitely can learn a lot just by watching, let alone being on the ice with him.

We’re going to get a chance to meet with some fans tonight after our scrimmage at the Sensplex. I think it’s really important to give back that way. The fans give you most of what you have playing wise, so it’s definitely important to show them that respect factor. I’m a guy that’s always been involved that way and I like to do that kind of thing. I think it’s a lot of fun.

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL