Only eight teams currently remain in the running for the 2017 Stanley Cup — and one of them plays in Ottawa. But apparently someone neglected to tell that to Sens fans, because TV cameras caught a whole bunch of empty seats at Game 1 of the Senators’ second round matchup with the Rangers last night.
According to The Ottawa Sun, final attendance at the Canadian Tire Centre for the Senators’ 2-1 win was 16,744, or almost 2,500 under capacity. And you don’t have to be a math whiz or an Ottawa fan to know, yeah, that is… not good. (Meanwhile, the Oilers sold out their arena in 30 minutes. So fans can watch an away game in Anaheim on the Jumbotron.)
But hey, we don’t want to pile on Senators fans here. I’m sure every hockey fan in Ottawa had a perfectly good excuse for missing last night’s game. So far, the media’s floated plenty of reasons for the lacklustre showing: frustrations with management. The fact that, at $100 a pop, the “cheap” seats aren’t exactly cheap. Parking costs too much. Here’s a few more.
1. It was 23° C as of game time. That’s opening-day-of-patio-season weather.
2. They were busy watching the Raptors rush out to a 25-point lead against the Bucks.
3. Then watching them subsequently blow said 25-point lead.
4. DeMar DeRozan dunked on the Bucks so hard, Environment Canada announced aftershock warnings across Ontario.
5. They had “a thing.”
6. They were talking Chicago fans down after the Bears made one of the dumbest NFL draft trades in years.
7. 2,500 people had to wash their hair.
8. They just plain forgot the game was last night. (It has been a few years since the Senators have made the second round.)
9. They wanted to give Rangers fans a chance to see a game for once.
11. It was 35-cent wing night at The Carleton Tavern.
12. They’d gone double-or-nothing that the Jays wouldn’t drop both games of their day-night doubleheader against the Cardinals.
13. The National Art Gallery has free admission on Thursday evenings.
14. They actually were there, they were just in the bathroom. For all three periods.
15. It was opening night of the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
16. They’re still working on their taxes.
17. They ate way too much at PoutineFest.
18. They had to use a Groupon before it expired.
19. They had to pick a friend up from the airport.
20. They’d already started camping out for Ottawa ComicCon next month.
21. It’s not you, it’s them.
22. The GPS took them to the Canadian Tire on Centre Street instead.