I'm not going to lie, normally this would be a Jersey Foul, but because of the circumstances of Heatley's return, anything goes, I gave a 24hr pass to anyone and everyone. I even applaud the effort of this guy to go the extra distance to make it nice. I saw many people with tape on their jerseys to hate, but this guy actually got big, bold professional lettering done to let everyone know he was serious about how badly Dany sucked.
This was our first chance to see Dany as a Shark since he left, when he came out for the warmup. There was probably only a few thousand there, but they were loud and made sure he was boo'd every single time he touched the puck, and every time he was in a corner, there was fans yelling at him and signs everywhere to make him as uncomfortable as possible. In true Heatley style, he was the very first player off the ice, so he didn't have to deal with the hate very long. He's also standing next to his buddy Spezza, though they didn't talk thank god. That would have gotten Jason in quite the jam from the fanbase.
When I saw someone sitting in the front row wearing a Heatley jersey for the warmup, I thought to myself, what a dick! Then I thought, no wonder he's a Heatley fan.
A few hateful signs in warmup for Dany boy behind the bench. The one you can't see on the right in green said 45million = Diminished role to Heatley. It's important to set the bar low at the start so you can finish strong.
Just a few minutes into the game, a bitter fan tosses his old Sens Heatley jersey on the ice in disgust of #15. Since it was laying down, the ref had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't the actual Dany Heatley.
One of the loudest cheers of the night game when Heatley got called for a highsticking penalty on his biggest Ottawa supporter, Jason Spezza. Of course we didn't capitalize on it and stick it to him or anything, but the fans had a fun time with it, especially those near the penalty box, who were chirping him the whole time. This as it turns out, would be the best opportunity to cheer for anything all night. Sigh!
A funny sign to show what they thought of Mr Heatley for TSN. The best part, the guy in the Leaf jersey underneath it. When will they stop wearing jerseys to games they're not involved in? This is why everyone hates you.
Ladies and gentleman from other cities, yes this is what the Sens organization thinks passes for entertainment at an NHL game, a violin player having a ho down. It's getting hard to defend my team sometimes with the decisions they make.
This was interesting to see, it was SIX San Jose Heatley jersey's in a row. They were loud and proud at the start of the game, but they disappeared midway through the game, kind of like Dany in the playoffs.
I didn't know what to make of this, since I'd never seen it before, Heatley in front of the net. Luckily I was quickly brought back to earth by seeing Phillips not touch anyone in front of our net, that I've seen a million times.
This was one of the more creative hating I saw. Someone took a Santa doll, pasted the picture of Heatley's face with the soother from the cover of The Sun on it, and then tossed on a HATE tee for good measure. I think we all know what Santa list Dany made this year.
And there is our first look in person of public enemy #1 in his new jersey on our logo at centre ice. Just doesn't look right does it?
This was a shocker. We didn't even sell the game out? I know I know, most cities would be excited to have 18k at their game. Well this isn't most cities, and this wasn't just a random Thursday night game. The 18k+ fans who did show up made it sound like 30k, so that was pretty awesome, but still really disheartening to not sell it out for a game of this magnitude. Leaf and Hab fans may now mock us with reason.
Simple and to the point, plus a hockey reference as well. A bit on the corny side, but nevertheless, still pretty effective. Plus my mom liked it, so I had to throw it in here for her.
A fan by the glass giving it to Heatley. This guy was pretty animated all night, which I like to see, even if he may be familiar to you because he is a previous jersey fouler. Shoutout to JF#55.
Early into the 3rd, fed up with our play, and wanting to make a statement I assume, members of the Red Scarf Union band together and about 7 or 8 of them threw their Heatley gear on the ice at the same time. They were also promptly kicked out of SBP of course, but though I normally don't support throwing stuff on the ice, I liked the message it sent, and let's be honest, it was a one time deal with special circumstances, so I give them a pass. I wonder if the Senators organization will feel the same, or will they pull their affiliation with them?
I apologize from the craptastic picture quality on this one, but if you look closely, it has FU in duct tape over the 15 on his tee. This went perfect with the Fuck You Heat-Ley clap clap clap clap clap chant that was going for awhile at SBP, you know before the 55yr old women ushers came and ruined everyone's parade. I doubt you were able to hear it on TV, or they wouldn't let you, but a good amount of people were doing it, and it was funny.
Congratulations Sens, you drove an entire building that was filled with energy to the exits with your pathetic play. You did not provide ONE highlight the entire night. Not one exiting play. You didn't touch Heatley, you didn't have a decent scoring chance and you played with zero heart. Oh wait, was the entire night an homage to the style of Dany Heatley?
And finally, here are the Sharks celebrating the win. They must have beeen in shock about how easy it was, and how little effort we showed in a game like that. If you're looking for Heatley in the picture, you won't see him. As soon as the game ended he left the bench for the dressing room like a coward, instead of celebrating the win with his teammates, who had to tolerate the circus. A typical Dany Heatley move.
All in all, it was a horribly disappointing night. The Sens rolled over, which was shocking. I was fine with losing, but at least play hard all night, hit, show some passion for the fans who were obviously hurting. We're not likely to go very far this season, despite what the Euge says, so this was our mini Stanley Cup, at least for the fans, and you know what, the players looked like they didn't care. No one played with any urgency. It looked like they were playing a pre-season game, in a game that the fans desperately wanted to win. Everyone was just so let down by the team.
The positive from the night were the fans. They let Dany have it all night and there were many funny cheers and signs that never made it to TV. After watching the Cavs/Heat game when I got home from SBP, I'm ever more proud of our fan base. The Cleveland fans barely did a thing and were fairly quiet compared to what I witnessed, if you know what I mean.
Thoughts on the return?