In mid-October, with Ottawa sitting at 3-4, The Hockey News came out with their “power rankings” and had Ottawa ranked somewhere near the bottom of the NHL. Ottawa fans were on a high following the startling last second win over Columbus, and showed some outrage against the editor of The Hockey News for placing the Sens so low, below teams with inferior won-lost records. Most notably to me, former Senshot writer and current Senday Observer editor Derrick Brose had a serious problem with the rankings. He called THN editor Adam Proteau to task on twitter for the rankings. Proteau’s response (and I am paraphrasing) was something like “Yeah, they are 3-4, but who have they beat?” It was also following two lopsided losses to the Flyers and Avalanche, so he sort of had a point at the time.
As the season has gone on and Ottawa has continued to shock or surprise, there has always been the caveat from non-believers, yeah, but...(insert reason why they aren’t really that good here).
Hopefully last night’s dismantling of the New York Rangers finally silences some of those critics who are simly waiting for the Senators’ bubble to burst. They are firmly entrenced in a playoff spot, by which I mean even if all the teams below them win their games in hand, they will not knock Ottawa out of the top 8. And the likelihood of that happening is pretty slim anyways. They still need to keep up relatively good play, but they have placed themselves in a very good spot.
In this current stretch that was supposed to be a big/difficult test, Ottawa has passed with flying colours. They took 3 of a possible 4 points against the Flyers, and then defeated the (injury riddled) Penguins despite being outplayed for much of the game. Finally, they walked into Madison Square Garden and shut out the league’s top team, becoming the first team to put 3 shots past Henrik Lundqvist in nearly a month.
If this doesn’t silence the “Yeah…but” comments, I don’t know what more the Senators can do in order to prove that they are for real. Maybe the upcoming 6 game road trip through California and Arizona, that also includes a trip to Boston and Toronto will go a long way to proving their legitimacy to those who still don’e believe it.