Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 08/29/13 at 10:38 PM ET
The Ottawa Sun's Tim Baines reports that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Fraser was skating with the Ottawa Senators' players at the Bell Sensplex on Thursday (as was some Alfred-something guy), and as Baines discusses Fraser's love for the Toronto Maple Leafs despite his status as a born-and-raised Ottawan, I would like to posit the reason that Senators fans are...different:
He was surprised at the intensity of the Battle of Ontario when he returned home with the Leafs last season.
"It was always really special to come home," said Fraser. "But it's a different thing playing for the Leafs. The loudest game I'd ever played in, maybe except for the playoff games this year, was in Ottawa when Eugene Melnyk tried to encourage fans not to give their tickets to Leaf fans. It was a phenomenal experience because the fans were into it, we were into it and you see the amazing rivalry it's become in Ontario.
"The fact that hometown players can get booed in their own building is a weird thing. All the Leaf fans come out in this town."
Baines continues, and the same thing happens when the Canadiens come to Ottawa. I'd imagine that it's annoying as hell. We get pockets of fans cheering for local players on other teams in Detroit, and when the Leafs come to town, I think a quarter of Southwestern Ontario buys up all the seats because they can't get into actual Leaf games (see: why there will never be another team in Toronto), but seriously, to get booed in your own rink a total of half-a-dozen times a year...That ain't fun.
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