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2013 Stanley Cup Playoff Team - Ottawa SenatorsOne of the least likely participants in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs is the Ottawa Senators. It's not that the Senators had few expectations at the beginning of the short regular season, but rather it's that Ottawa seemed to have another star suffer a significant injury every other week. Centerman Jason Spezza played only five games this year and is probably out for the first round of the 2013 NHL Playoffs. Defending Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson suffered a gruesome cut to his Achilles tendon in a freak play against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has somehow managed to recover in miraculous time and joined the team in the last week of the season to prepare for their first round matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.
Goaltending was the key component that kept the Ottawa Senators in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoff conversation. Craig Anderson was a magician in between the pipes, leading the NHL in GAA for much of the season and making dazzling saves in high volumes over the course of the season. Because of their depth at the position, the Senators made a trade deadline move with the Tampa Bay Lightning to acquire young scoring threat Cory Conacher. They're hoping some young energy, paired with playoff veterans like Captain Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar, will help the Senators defeat bitter national rival Montreal Canadiens. The cities are close together geographically and the fans despise the other franchise. This will be a tightly contested and bitter seven-game showdown. Can the Ottawa Senators continue to surprise the analysts and overcome injury to make a 2013 NHL Playoff run?
Ottawa Senators Stanley Cup Playoff Opponent
Ottawa wasn't guaranteed a playoff spot until their victories over the last weekend of the NHL regular season including a victory over the Boston Bruins. They will need to defend their home ice at ScotiaBank Place and steal a victory on the road if they hope to win a first round series against the Montreal Canadiens. The teams split their season series, each winning both games at home.
|2/25/2013||Senators||2-1 (Shootout)||ScotiaBank Place|
|3/13/2013||Canadiens||4-3 (Shootout)||Bell Centre|
NHL Playoff Preview - Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators - Because It's the Cup
Senators - Candiens Shootout - 2/25/2013
3/25/15: The Ottawa Senators' coaching staff finally got the same memo that fans have known about for weeks. Their best chance to win is with a hot goalie and they have one. Andrew "The Hamburglar" Hammond has continued his sizzling play and is now getting the starting nod in crunch time. The Sens really bolstered their campaign by beating Boston, whom they are chasing for the last playoff spot, in regulation last week. With about 10 games left in the regular season, Ottawa is still on the outside, but seems to get closer every day - and that is thanks to Hammond.
3/18/15: The Ottawa Senators continued their remarkable late season push to get into the playoffs last week by dominating the Montreal Canadiens 5-2. The Sens opted against going with Andrew "The Hamburglar" Hammond versus the Boston Bruins, claiming that Craig Anderson gave them the best chance to win. That did not work out, so they went back to The Hamburglar against Montreal. Hammond has been outstanding since getting called up and has not lost a game in regulation. He became the first goalie since 1938 to allow two or less goals in his first nine starts and may be the starter going forward.
3/11/15: Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Ottawa Senators find themselves not too far removed from a playoff spot. A lot of that has to do with the play of undrafted goaltender Andrew Hammond. He was named the NHL's first star of the week two weeks ago and continued his improbable run in a 3-1 win over Winnipeg. The Hamburglar, as he is nicknamed, has started 6-0-1 in his first seven games and sports an impressive 1.35 goals against average with an outstanding .957 save percentage, plus two shutouts. If this keeps up, the Senators will be playing meaningful games in a few weeks.
3/4/15: It may be a little too late in the season for a dramatic comeback that can get the Ottawa Senators into the playoffs, but they still have an outside shot at getting to the postseason. They took a big step last week, thanks to an undrafted free agent. Goalie Andrew Hammond recorded consecutive shutouts to give the Senators four much needed points (and their fourth straight win). The second shut out was against the scorching hot Los Angeles Kings, who had won eight in a row before hosting the Sens. Hammond's nickname is the Hamburgler and he has an amazing drawing of the character on his goalie mask.
2/25/15: The NHL has gotten a lot more active on cutting down on dangerous hits over the past couple of years by suspending players on a seemingly regular basis. This week's installment of NHL reviews features Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen, who leveled Jussi Jokinen of the Florida Panthers last Saturday. The hearing for the offense was held on Monday and the NHL decided that it warranted a three game suspension. The NHL has been a bit uneven on their discipline lately and they could make a good case that he deserves only two games based on other recent punishments.
2/18/15: The Ottawa Senators continue to be the definition of average. Through 54 games, they sat at 22-22-10 with an even goal differential. That is not just balancing out of the season, it is ongoing, as they are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. They have been slightly better at home, with 12 wins versus 9 losses (and five ties). Perhaps they can use that slight home ice advantage this week when the host the Montreal Canadiens tonight and the Florida Panthers on Saturday. The Senators then head to the West Coast for a road trip against some Pacific Division teams.
2/11/15: While there has not been much to celebrate in Ottawa this season - the highlight of the year so far may be the warm tribute they gave former captain Jason Spezza upon his return to the Canadian Capital City a few weeks ago - but they were able to celebrate one of their own last week. Chris Phillips, who was the number one pick of the Senators nearly two decades ago, passed Daniel Alfredsson for the franchise record in games played with 1,179 last Thursday. Even the visiting Washington Capitals were impressed, as they left the bench to congratulate Phillips for the achievement. That good will only lasted so long, as the Caps went on to win the game 2-1.
2/5/15: The Ottawa Senators displayed their class last week when the Dallas Stars came to town for the first time this season. Dallas is the new home of Jason Spezza, who spent 11 seasons in Ottawa and was named the captain after Daniel Alfredsson left. Alfredsson, by the way, will receive a key to the city after playing 17 of his 18 NHL seasons with the Senators. But this was Spezza's night. The Senators showed a nice tribute for Spezza during the game and the team and their fans greeted their former star graciously (after booing him the first time he touched the puck). The only thing that would have been better is if the Senators would have won, but fell 6-3.
1/28/15: Ottawa is still in the playoff race at the All Star break, but will need a very strong second half of the season to make it to the postseason. The Senators are a mediocre 19-18-9 at the break, sometimes showing flashes of brilliance and sometimes struggling. One reason for their struggles are slumping players who get big salaries, such as Colin Greening. Greening has been a healthy scratch for the last five games and GM Bryan Murray admits that he has not been able to trade Greening and may put him on waivers after the break. Greening is in the second year of a three year, $8 million contract but has not contributed much this season.
1/21/15: The Ottawa Senators have not made much of this season, though goaltender Craig Anderson has been outstanding. His numbers are solid: .929 save percentage and 2.30 goals against average. That is even more impressive considering how much the Senators have struggled defensively this season. So it is no surprise that his name is being floated out in trade rumors. There are a number of possible playoff teams that need an upgrade in net, such as Winnipeg and Minnesota. It would be tough to lose a great goalie, but the Senators could bring in a king's ransom with a trade.
1/14/15: As a rule of thumb, a team has to be 10 games over .500 or better in order to qualify for the playoffs. That does not bode well for the Ottawa Senators who are only a single game over breakeven. The team has done a decent job of keeping the puck out of their own net, but does have trouble scoring and is just over 2.5 goals per game. They own a -3 goal differential, which indicates a lot of low scoring and close games. Ottawa is home this week and will host Montreal on Thursday, followed by Carolina on Saturday.
1/7/15: The Ottawa Senators finished out the 2014 calendar year with an adequate 15-14-7 record, and a 5-3-2 record in their previous 10 games. While that is above .500, it is not nearly good enough to earn a playoff spot. The Senators have been good at home, posting an 8-4-4 record (somehow only playing 16 home games thus far), but have struggled on the road with a 7-10-3 mark. At some point, they have to play some home games, but not this week as they are in Colorado on Thursday and Arizona on Saturday. The good news is that both of those teams have struggled all season and it is a great chance to pick up four points.
12/3/14: Buffalo is having a tough season, and many 'experts' believe that they have a roster that needs a lot of development. Indeed, they started off pretty miserably, but have been on fire lately. And they are not just beating scrub teams, they have won five of their past six, which includes back to back wins against Montreal. The Sabres have a long way to go before they are in the mix to make the playoffs, but their recent play has to be encouraging for the team and fan base. The Sabres are on the road this week at Tampa and Florida before coming home to host the Kings and Flames.
11/19/14: Ottawa has compiled a nice 8-4-4 record through 16 games. The only downside is that they sit fourth in the Atlantic Division, which has been pretty strong because of good starts by the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. There may be change coming to the roster soon, though. Recent reports say that both the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks are interested in veteran defenseman Marc Methot. Methot does not fit in the current scheme and is the final year of his contract - with negotiations going nowhere. In any case, the Senators are playing well and have home games against Nashville on Thursday and St. Louis on Saturday.
11/12/14: The Ottawa Senator are kind of like the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. They are all solid teams, but unspectacular so far. They all have good records (Ottawa is in fifth in the Atlantic Division with a 7-3-3 record), but could suffer from being in a good division. Ottawa is not scoring a lot of goals, well less than three per game, but they have only allowed 29 in 13 games, which is outstanding. If they can get some offense going, then they may well be a very dangerous team in a few months. The Senators are on a West Coast road trip this week with games in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary.
11/5/14: Get ready for a week of home games for the Senators. Aside from hosting the Red Wings last night, they have Minnesota on Thursday, Winnipeg on Saturday and Toronto on Sunday. The Senators are in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Division right now, but are holding their own. The good news is that all the teams ahead of Ottawa have played more games. The Senators do need to start scoring more goals. Their 2.8 goals per game average is not likely to hold up throughout the year, though their 2.6 goals against average is pretty solid.
10/29/14: The unthinkable hit the great City of Ottawa last week when at least two gunmen carried out an attack on government personnel and buildings. Every news outlet has information on the attack for those that are looking for more details. We can only hope this is the last time we must face such a terrible tragedy. In light of the situation last Wednesday, the scheduled game between the Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs was postponed and will be played another day. The game is trivial in comparison to the situation and all thoughts are with the victims, their families and good people of Ottawa.
10/22/14: The American and Canadian press have been busy covering such important items like the Washington Capitals attending the D.C. premier of the new Brad Pitt movie and an angry Maple Leafs fan throwing his replica jersey on the ice in disgust. Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators have quietly been going about their business and picking up wins. They knocked off the reigning Central Division champion Colorado Avalanche last week and won three of their first four games. In that time, they are giving up only two goals a game. The Senators have a couple home games this week, hosting Toronto on Wednesday and the Devils on Saturday.
10/15/14: The Ottawa Senators are a team that has historically been defined by having great regular seasons but not being able to find playoff success. The hope, as always, is that this season will be different. They got off to an unassuming start to the regular season, falling 3-2 to the Nashville Predators on the road. But they are starting a home stand this week, hosting the Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs. Ottawa has a pretty good roster when examined, so they may end up being a surprise team in the NHL this season.
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Next 20 Games
|Sep 27, 2015||Carolina Hurricanes vs Ottawa Senators|
|Oct 8, 2015||Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres|
|Oct 10, 2015||Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs|
|Oct 11, 2015||Montreal Canadiens vs Ottawa Senators|
|Oct 14, 2015||Ottawa Senators vs Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Oct 15, 2015||Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins|
Scores and Schedule
|Apr 22, 2015||Rd 1: Montreal Canadiens - Ottawa Senators - Game 4||0 - 1|
|Apr 19, 2015||Rd 1: Montreal Canadiens - Ottawa Senators - Game 3||2 - 1|
|Apr 17, 2015||Rd 1: Ottawa Senators - Montreal Canadiens - Game 2||2 - 3|
|Apr 15, 2015||Rd 1: Ottawa Senators - Montreal Canadiens - Game 1||3 - 4|
|Apr 11, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Philadelphia Flyers||3 - 1|
|Apr 9, 2015||Ottawa Senators - New York Rangers||3 - 0|
|Apr 7, 2015||Pittsburgh Penguins - Ottawa Senators||3 - 4|
|Apr 5, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Toronto Maple Leafs||2 - 3|
|Apr 4, 2015||Washington Capitals - Ottawa Senators||3 - 4|
|Apr 2, 2015||Tampa Bay Lightning - Ottawa Senators||1 - 2|
|Mar 31, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Detroit Red Wings||2 - 1|
|Mar 29, 2015||Florida Panthers - Ottawa Senators||4 - 2|
|Mar 28, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Toronto Maple Leafs||3 - 4|
|Mar 26, 2015||New York Rangers - Ottawa Senators||5 - 1|
|Mar 23, 2015||San Jose Sharks - Ottawa Senators||2 - 5|
|Mar 21, 2015||Toronto Maple Leafs - Ottawa Senators||3 - 5|
|Mar 19, 2015||Boston Bruins - Ottawa Senators||4 - 6|
|Mar 17, 2015||Ottawa Senators - Carolina Hurricanes||2 - 1|