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Fan commitment supports Sens' comeback bid

Friday, 06.1.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / Features
By Todd Anderson
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Fan commitment supports Sens\' comeback bid
Speaking at a news conference today, Jason Spezza says the Senators are proud of the dedication shown by Sens Army while his team prepares to fight back from a 2-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup final. Photo: T. Anderson/OSHC

by Todd Anderson

More than 500 loyal Ottawa Senators fans greeted the team at Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport last night when the club arrived back from Anaheim. Trailing the Stanley Cup final 2-0, the Sens say they've been motivated by the encouragement displayed by the Sens Army.

"We're proud of the fans and we hope they're proud of us," Senators centre Dean McAmmond says. "Maybe together we can make a nice recipe for a couple of wins here."

Senators forward Dany Heatley was caught off guard when he saw the crowd that had formed to greet the team.

"It was a little surprising and very nice to see the support at the airport. It's awesome. They've been great for us through the stretch here. We would like nothing more than to get a win for them tomorrow night. It's always fun to be in front of our crowd, they always give us some energy."

Heatley's linemate Jason Spezza has also been impressed with the dedication of Sens fans. Spezza says it was a nice compliment to see so many people at the airport yesterday.

"It just shows the commitment of the people here. They believe in us. We don't think we're out of this. The support in the community is phenomenal. We can't speak enough for the way people have rallied behind us and it definitely makes it exciting to play."

Back at Scotiabank Place for Games 3 and 4, Sens goaltender Ray Emery can't wait to hear the hometown crowd rev up the energy prior to the puck drop. The Senators boast a record of 5-2 at home during the playoffs.

"The momentum gets the blood pumping," Emery says. "I think we're comfortable playing in this rink. Just the emotion of the fans. Home-ice advantage, that's what it is."

The Senators held a 35-minute meeting before practice today, and head coach Bryan Murray said afterwards that several areas of concern were addressed during the session.

"We talked about guys being able to take charge and play back to the level they have to play at and that's what we're expecting," Murray says "We have to try and step it up as we get home and take advantage of what we can do in our own building. That is feed off the emotion of the fans and obviously work a little harder than we did out there (in Anaheim).

"I think you have to make adjustments. We know what they're doing now. Our guys, we told them, we showed video, but until you get on the ice sometimes and you go through it, you don't really understand all the good things they do, and they do some real good things. So we have to make the adjustment and hope that our guys will force them to do something a little different."




1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 77 47 23 7 249 201 101
3 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
4 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
5 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
6 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
7 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
8 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50


E. Karlsson 75 20 41 7 61
K. Turris 75 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 73 19 34 13 53
B. Ryan 71 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 72 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 73 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 55 13 14 -11 27
D. Legwand 73 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 69 11 15 -4 26
A. Hammond 14 1 1 .938 1.92
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49