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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 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
2 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
5 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
6 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47


E. Karlsson 54 11 48 9 59
B. Ryan 53 19 26 -2 45
M. Hoffman 50 23 18 5 41
M. Stone 52 16 25 -10 41
M. Zibanejad 53 11 22 -1 33
K. Turris 48 13 17 -11 30
J. Pageau 54 13 10 6 23
Z. Smith 53 11 5 7 16
C. Ceci 47 5 11 -1 16
C. Lazar 49 5 9 0 14
C. Anderson 22 17 4 .914 2.86
A. Hammond 3 5 2 .900 3.10