Monday, February 13, 2012
Photo Diary: Fisher's Return & Phillips' 1000th
Thursday February 9th was a big day in Senators history, as two of the longest serving and most popular players collided in a game that was noteworthy for several reasons. The Sens had lost 7 in a row and desperately needed a win to get back on track, former Senator Mike Fisher was playing in his first game back in Ottawa since he was traded last year and Chris Phillips was playing his 1000th career game, all with the Sens.
So of course I had to document the affair the best way I know how, with a photo diary. Of course the Senators decided to honor Fisher and put him on the tickets for the game. A nice touch and makes for a good memento from the game too. Now on to the latest photo diary. Enjoy!
Since it was a big occasion I decided to go with my very rarely worn Chris Phillips throwback jersey to honor the Big Rig. The way he played perhaps I should throw it into the rotation more often from now on.
The man everyone came to see in warmups. It sure does still look weird to see him in a different jersey even though it's been a year already doesn't it? Here he is skating over our logo. He got a loud ovation when he skated onto the ice for the first time.
Some autographed Chris Phillips swag on sale for charity in honor of the 1000th game. Only problem is the jersey plate. It's clearly out of date and doesn't have the new heritage jersey included. Saw a lot more #4 jerseys kicking around than usual for this one.
Some of the fans watching warmup came with some signs for Phillips and Turris as Greening looks on in a jealous rage.
Mike Fisher showing some love to Ian Mendes and giving him the pre game on ice interview for the TV broadcast. I wish I could have heard it but I was at the game.
A very cute picture and sign from some of Phillips' kids in the warmup. They were very proud of their dad.
And here's a better shot of the Phillips clan on the stairs for warmups. His wife Erin was snapping tons of pics on her SLR camera and the kids kept waving their signs like crazy. Very cute to see and a touching moment.
And it was anthem time and getting closer to puck drop finally. For some reason the lights took forever to come on during the anthems, hence the darker picture. I watched Fisher during the songs and he looked out of place. It must have been weird to be standing in the same building you've played in for a decade but getting a different view.
And it's finally game time! And look who was in the starting lineup for the Preds? None other than Mike Fisher was taking the opening faceoff. It was probably a good idea for him to get it out of the way as soon as possible and hopefully make it as normal of a game as possible for him.
Just what the Sens needed, a quick goal to take the lead after 7 straight loses. This one was scored by Jason Spezza less than 5 minutes in and was a beauty. Spezza, who had gone awhile without scoring was super pumped in his post goal celebration.
And here's the other man of the hour with the puck on the #4 behind the net placed in his honor. Little did we know what was coming our way from him.
And with 8:51 left in the first period this came on the screen. It's one of my favorite Senator goals of all time from a double OT win in the playoffs against the Leafs from guess who?
You guessed it. The one and only Mike Fisher. It was time to remember his time as a Senator. The crowd started to get louder........
And there we have it. The crowd was going nuts. He got a standing ovation as I predicted and even though I'm not a huge Fisher supporter I stood up and showed respect for his contributions here. The thing that struck me the most was that he only had 348 points. He played here parts of 12 seasons, but realistically let's say he played 10. That's only 34.8 points per season and you can see why he was wildly overrated as a player, especially for the money he was getting. That's why the move had to be made.
And the ovation continued as he took the ice for his next shift. He looked genuinely touched and overwhelmed with emotion. It took him a minute so settle down and take the faceoff. You could see he was trying to be tough and fight it but it didn't work.
And the unthinkable happened. Chris Phillips, playing in his 1000th game, had gone 75 games without potting one, but of course in true clutch Phillips style he scored. He skated to centre ice to celebrate. He was so happy you would have thought he just scored the Stanley Cup winning goal. Great to see him so excited.
Then they took the celebration to the bench. You could see how happy all the guys were for him. Awesome to see for the vet.
And here was a fan with a "forver a Senator to us" sign. They were sitting right behind the Preds bench of course. So colorful.
And the same woman with a Love You, Miss You sign. I thought it was odd for a grownup to make kid signs, but if you're that obsessed with Fisher shouldn't you at least be rocking a #12 jersey and not an Alfie one? Just sayin'.
Speaking of weird, caught this at the 2nd intermission. It was a girl of about 18-20 wearing a Nashville jersey with the #12, but the nameplate said Nada Fisher. I have no idea what that is supposed to mean to her, but doesn't that mean No Fisher in Spanish? Jersey fouls keep getting weirder and weirder.
And the third period is underway. This shot features the 2 most popular Senators of all time in Fisher and Alfie. I was kind of surprised there weren't more Fisher jerseys spotted that night. Perhaps people have moved on better than I thought.
This was probably the most disappointing moment of the night, at least to me. On a Subway night where you can get cheaper tickets, the return of Fisher and the 1000th game of Phillips the game wasn't sold out somehow. I know we were in the middle of a bad losing streak but there's no excuse for this one. Brutal!
Incredibly Phillips scored a 2nd goal making it 4-2 for the Sens and sealing the eventual 4-3 victory. That's right, the guy who hadn't scored in 75 games potted 2, including the game winner to snap our win streak. Not bad for your 1000th game right? Also amazingly he scored a pair on his 800th career game too. I can't wait for his 1200th. I loved his celebration, this time on his back.
Another fan showing some love for Phillips. While I appreciate the sentiment, if Phillips plays another 1000 he will be in his mid 40's by then. Also what's with the space between the WA and the NT? These are the things I think about.
And just like that the game was over. The Sens snapped their losing streak, Fisher got his ovation and Phillips scored a pair. You really couldn't ask for a better game heading in. Fisher was largely invisible for most of the game and Phillips had the game of his life. And that's what it was like to be at a great night in Senators history.
I hope everyone enjoyed the latest edition and be sure to check out the photo diary archives for more diaries. Be sure to follow me on twitter too @SensTown and thanks for reading.