There is nothing worse when you go to an NHL game to support the home team and there are more (and louder) hockey fans supporting the opposing team. This happens a lot at Ottawa Senators’ home games. It is bad enough watching on TV, but when you are actually at the game it is brutal. Last night was a great example when the Senators hosted the Montreal Canadians. If you were listening to the game from a distance (not right in front of the TV) you could not tell which team scored when the commentator yelled “scores!”
I assume this bipartisan crowd phenomenon is because anyone that has moved to Ottawa for work as an adult is old enough to have grown up with another team as their favourite. On the flip side, anyone younger than 30 years of age living in Ottawa has grown up with the Senators as their home team since the Senators franchise was only revived in Ottawa in 1992, after being off the NHL radar since 1934.
I grew up in Cornwall, Ontario a small city a little over an hour east and south of Ottawa. In the sixties and seventies, if you lived in Cornwall, you either cheered for the Montreal Canadians or the Toronto Maple Leafs. The choice was predominantly based on whether you were French speaking (Montreal) or English speaking (Toronto). My father was an avid Toronto Maple Leaf fan, so we six children were too. When I moved to Ottawa and had three sons, as soon as they were old enough to love hockey and the Senators, I was a convert.
However, when I moved to Ottawa and had three sons, as soon as they were old enough to love hockey and the Senators, I was a convert. It is hard not to get caught up in the excitement of a local team, especially as we live 5 minutes from the Canadian Tire Center, the arena the Senators call home.
Whatever happened to home-ice advantage?