If there is anyone out there who still doubts that ScotiaBank Place is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of Cyril Leeder, Bruce Firestone and SpartaCat is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our hard work and perseverance, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told to panicky fans and unscrupulous media in numbers this city has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours just for the chance to be heard on the call-in shows, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.
We are, and always will be, the Ottawa Senators.It's the answer that led those who've been told for so long by
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this game at this defining moment, change has come to Ottawa.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you.
This is your victory.
You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our season -- laziness, blowing a damn-near full two minutes of five-on-three powerplay time, worst defensive crisis in a decade...Martin Gerber.
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without Fish, The Captain, Heater and Auld, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.Tonight, I think about all that we've seen throughout our 16 years in the NHL -- the heartache and the hope; Joe Fucking Neuwendyck; the heartache; the struggle and the progress; the heartache; the Finals; the heartache; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that Hockey Country creed: Yes we can.
At a time when the fans' voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, we lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the rafters. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the upper bowl and depression across the beer concessions, we saw a city conquer fear itself with a new coach, new players, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the pucks fell on our crease and Ovechkin threatened the net, we were there to witness a goaltender rise to greatness and a game was saved. Yes we can.
And this year, in this game, Mike Fisher touched his finger to a puck, and cast his shot, because, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, he knows how he can change.
Yes we can.
Ottawa, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves -- if our children should live to see the next post-season, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
Yes we can.