Tuesday, October 11, 2005

But it wasn't a sellout

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A couple of things are becoming apparent in the new NHL. Generally the game is much more exciting. Specifically, in terms of the Leafs and Sens, is that these teams are evenly matched - for 65 minutes anyway.

This is good news for the Leafs but bad news for the Sens. The Senators are the popular pick for Stanley Cup favourite and for good reason. I am loving that Jason Speeza is tearing it up after being freed up from the stifling grip of Jacques Martin. Could I scoring title and Olympic Games be in his future? I hope so. However, even with Spezza and Heatly and Alfredsson and Hasek the Sens can't beat the Leafs in regulation. How could you when snipers like Tucker, Domi and Wilm match you goal for goal.

The other tough sign for Ottawa was 1,000 game day tickets available. It is not clear if they got grabbed up or not, but if there are 1,000 available against the Leafs how many will be left over against less compelling competition. Furthermore the Senators have one of the most exciting teams in the new NHL. If this team can't sell out there are serious problems with the Ottawa market.

But let's not let this be all Sens bashing. Here a couple of notes on the Leafs.

Ed Belfour has not performed to an NHL level. The 5th Senators goal was terrible and completely Eddie's fault. I was on the Allison bandwagon in the pre-season but he just can't skate well enough. Hopefully his will improve a bit as he gets into game shape but so far, not so good. Kyle Wellwood is not a NHL player and it looks like he deserved his Marlie demotion. Once O'Neill is back you can count Wellwood being sent down.

The Leafs are now 0-1-2, but could easily be 3-0-0, as the Sens are now. I'm not worried (yet) but the Leafs are going to need a couple of wins coming up against the Flyers, Thrashers and Canadiens. At least they sellout!


  1. From the NHL summary: "Notes: The announced crowd of 18,680 marked the first time in three preseason and two regular season games the Senators didn't have a sellout. They set a franchise record in their home opener Saturday with a 19,661 spectators. Last season, a sellout at the Corel Centre was 18,500, but with extra standing room now available, that number has increased to 19,153"

    Also note that the team has the Leaf ticket priced higher than the rest of the teams coming into the Corel Centre.

    Don't worry about the support here - it's solid.

  2. Excuses, excuses.

  3. Ed Belfour has not performed to an NHL level.

    When has Belfour ever performed at an NHL level at the beginning of any season? This is a perennial knock against him and by game 10 it drys up and blows away.

  4. The Sens don't sell out every game like the Leafs... that's how it's always been. I would have gone last night, but they charge a premium to see the Leafs, and I'm not willing to pay that at the moment.

  5. It's a 30% premium for those interested.

  6. Thanks for the info on the premiums. I wasn't aware of that.

    Smart though. There are so many Leafs fans in visitor's building you may as well make an extra profit off of them. Besides, it is probably cheaper for a Leaf fan than at the ACC anyway.

    Tough for Sens fans though, since those are the games you would want to see.

  7. "compelling competition"

    Oh please. Get a real team.

  8. The Sens get solid support for a greater population area of just over a million.

    Compared to the Leafs and the Canadiens fan base, I would say 16,000 - 18,000 tickets sold a game (generally) is pretty impressive.

  9. I think a lot of Sens fans just don't want to go to the Corel Centre when the Leafs come to town and hang out with a bunch of drunken hoodlums.

  10. I think a lot of Sens fans just don't want to go to the Corel Centre when the Leafs come to town and hang out with a bunch of drunken hoodlums

    And then there's the fans.