Senators, Canucks battle to become “Canada’s Team”

NEW YORK – With only two teams in the playoffs this year, Canadian hockey fans don’t have much to choose from.
Who in Montreal or Toronto is going to cheer for the Ottawa Senators?
Who in Canada outside the Lower Mainland is going cheer for the Vancouver?
So it’ll be interesting to see if either team can win the hearts of Canadians.
Certainly the Canucks got off on the wrong foot in Game 1 of their series against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday with a continuation of their typically irritating behaviour, in particular the embarrassing histrionics of Ryan Kesler.
So the Ottawa Senators, if they win a few games, have the chance to become “Canada’s Team” by default.
Jason Spezza said the Senators have enough to worry about right now with the Rangers.
“Obviously you’d like to see people, once their teams are out, cheer for you,” he said on Thursday.
“But we’re not too concerned about that.
“They’re in the west, we’re in the east. We’re just going to try to win our own games and people will get behind us.
“If not, we know the people in Ottawa are supporting us.”
Chris Neil said it was gratifying when Canadians got behind them during their run to the Stanley Cup final in 2007.
“Obviously it’s fun whenever your whole country gets behind you and cheers for you, but we don’t really look at it like that,” he said.
“It’s the group of guys in here that we pay attention to. You try not to pay attention to what’s going on on the outside, who’s cheering for you.
“You just hope that when you go out, you’re working hard and if you keep doing that, fans will come out and cheer for you a lot and be on your side.”

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