Ottawa Senators: Five Things Sens Army Can Be Proud Of

I had recently been working on a piece about Marc Methot and how his return to the lineup has boasted the teams confidence, but unfortunately after last nights game six loss to the Montreal Canadiens I’ve decided to change course, and talk about what Senators fans should be proud about going into the off-season.

 

1. Oh Captain, My Captain

Just like most posts you will read over the next couple of days, I’m going to start with Captain Erik Karlsson. What can be said about Karlsson that most of us don’t already know. The last couple of seasons have been pretty hard to swallow for Sens fans as after being named captain, Jason Spezza left town for Dallas and just a year before that Daniel Alfredsson left for greener pastures in Detroit. It was evident that a change to the leadership was coming, and some suspected it would be Chris Phillips who would wear the “C” going into the 2015-16 season.

However, it was no surprise when Karlsson was named captain as he was by far the best player on the team. Sure Karlsson had some struggles early on as he learned how to be a leader on the ice as well as off of it, but it didn’t take long for him to come into his own and we could begin to see that Bryan Murray and the management staff had made the right decision in naming Karlsson captain.

This guy is a pure magician out there and in my opinion one of the top ten players in the league. We should be proud to have a guy of Karlsson’s pedigree on our team and we should be even prouder to say he is the Captain of our Ottawa Senators.

 

2. Andy, Andy, Andy!!

I know what your thinking, shouldn’t you be talking about Andrew Hammond? He is the one who got us into the playoffs! Sure that’s right and I’ll give credit where credit is due. Hammond was spectacular down the stretch and was one of the many reasons this team was able to finish the season 23-4-4, over come a 14 point deficit and make it into the NHL Playoffs.

But lets not kid ourselves, this was and always will be Craig Anderson’s team, and we should be proud to say that. Anderson has been nothing be a rock for this team since being dealt from Colorado. He shows up night after night and regularly gives this team a chance to win even when they haven’t. Anderson wasn’t able to push us to a game seven but he sure did give it his all over during the season and playoffs. He takes the responsibility of being this teams number one goalie very personally and it’s evident that he wants to be here and believes that he can be a difference maker for this team going forward.

As Senators fans we should be proud that we have a legit number one goalie who will give his all night and night out no matter what. Like I said, I’ll give credit to Hammond for his amazing run, but I won’t deny how impressed I’ve been of Anderson’s demeanour and cannot wait to see him back between the pipes next year.

 

3. The Young Guns 

Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman. What a year for these three young men. You could probably call it a coming out party for all three of them. Stone led the league in take-a-ways and all rookies in points. Mike Hoffman led the team in goals and Mika proving that he can be and is an everyday 2nd line centre.

There were times during the year that all three of them took steps backwards, but for the most part these guys have proven that Bryan Murray and the scouting staff know what they are doing when it comes to the draft. It’s fun to see young guys playing well and contributing on a nightly basis, it energizes the fans and I’m sure it energizes the older guys on the team. These guys have instilled confidence in the fan base that we are on the right track, and with other young guys such as Lazar and Pageau the future looks bright for the Senators organization.

 

4. Bobby Ryan

Another one of those “What are you thinking”, but let me explain something to those who don’t. Bobby Ryan is a four time 30 goal scorer. Yes, he did not put the puck in the net like he used to in Anaheim but this guy will continue to be a threat and I expect him to be a big factor next year—And who could forget some of the great goals he scored this year. Including this highlight of the year against the LA Kings.

My guess is that Ryan had been playing with an injury and I am sure we will learn about it in the coming days. With that, Ryan continued to play through whatever was nagging him and never once used an injury as his excuse for not scoring.

After signing his contract extension the first thing he told Sens fan was that he would come to the rink night after night and play as hard as he could. It is disappointing he didn’t score more, but we should be proud in knowing that Ryan gave his all and most likely played through an injury for the 2nd season in a row.

 

 5. The 14 point Deficit/23-4-4 Run

This is just a showcase of the heart and determination of this team. 14 points back and a 2% chance of making the playoffs. Those are some pretty bleak numbers. But with the addition of Andrew Hammond’s unbelievable 20-1-2 record the Senators were able to become the first team since 1943 to over come a 14 point deficit(at any time during the season) and make the playoffs.

This will go down in history as one of the greatest seasonal come backs in professional sports.

The first team since 1943 to over come a 14 point deficit to make the playoffs
The team never gave up even when the whole league had counted them out and we should be proud to cheer for a team that never quit and worked as hard as possible to win right down to the final seconds of game 6.

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This years rendition of the Ottawa Senators provided a roller-coaster ride for all their fans. Being able to watch “playoff” style hockey for the past two months has been amazing, I haven’t had this much fun watching hockey since the Senators cup run back in 06-07.

This team has captivated a town and no doubt have caught the attention of the entire league. I cannot wait for next year to see what this team has in store for us as an encore. The Senators may not have won the Stanley Cup, but what they’ve accomplished this year is nothing short of Sen-sational!