The Ottawa Senators have been eliminated from the Stanley cup playoffs, and if you don’t feel at least a little bit sorry for them, you might wanna see a doctor, because its possible you may be missing a heart.
The Ottawa Senators entered this season with all kinds of hype following an impressive 2011-12 regular season that saw five Senator players in the all star game, including the impressive youngster, Erik Karlsson, who went on to win the Norris Trophy for best defenseman. But things quickly turned sour for Ottawa, who lost several key contributors to injury, including leading scorer Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, and even goalie Craig Anderson, who had been the early season leader in virtually every significant goalie statistic.
But even though fate seemed determined to keep the Senators down this season, head coach Paul MacLean had other ideas. In an effort that has made him the favorite to win the award for coach of the year, MacLean was able to keep his team focused, and the Senators battled through the toughest adversity in one of the most brutal divisions in hockey. Unlikely heroes began to emerge such as backup goalies Ben Bishop, and Robin Lehner, each posting remarkable numbers in relief of the injured Anderson, allowing the Senators to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
The Ottowa Senators, seemingly against all odds, managed to get healthy just in time for the playoffs and entered as the seventh seed in the East, and would face the second seeded Montreal Canadiens in the first round. A gruesome hit in game 1 on Canadiens forward, Lars Eller, made certain that this series would be a heated one. But despite the ensuing suspension to Senator’s defenseman Eric Gryba, and plenty of off-ice distractions, (such as Canadiens forward Brandon Prust referring to the Senators head coach as a “Bug-eyed fat walrus.”) the Senators remained resilient, pulling off the upset in only 5 games.
This however, would be the final highlight of the season for the Senators, who had the misfortune of entering a series against the machine that is the Pittsburgh Penguins. There would be no upset this time, but now it would be the Senator’s turn to be disposed of in only 5 games.
But this in no way diminishes the accomplishments the Senators have achieved this season. Ottawa demonstrated their grit and determination all year long, and proved to be one of the best stories of this lockout-shortened season. And while it is certainly a shame that their story ends prematurely, the entertainment they provided, and the respect they earned will not soon be forgotten.
- Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Playoffs 2013: Reasons Why The Sens Are On Verge of Elimination (latinospost.com)
- Stanley Cup notebook: Ottawa Senators season is done (balanceoffood.typepad.com)
- Senators’ unlikely playoff run ends in Game 5 disappointment (cbc.ca)