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Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round 1 Wrap-up: How the Ottawa Senators took the Eastern Conference by storm

Published on April 28, 2012 by   ·   No Comments

The¬†Ottawa Senators certainly weren’t given the chance to be regarded as a competitive team from the start of the season, let along a possibility to sneak into the playoffs.

Daniel Alfredsson is shown here after the Ottawa Senators' Game 7 loss.

But they defied critics, and shook off an early slump in the season. Craig Anderson was a laughing target, and the Sens just couldn’t string together a pair of wins anywhere against anyone.

Even the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning and Winnipeg Jets were pegged to do better. But nobody took into consideration that coach Paul MacLean would have an impressional difference on the team.

These teams, and others, were greatly thrown off the grid because of the Senators. There wasn’t a lot of signing last summer or any other indications that a big call-up would significantly impact the East coast. But they hurdled past the Leafs’ hope, the Sabres thrifty salaries and the Lightning’s momentum from last season.

Each season’s success or failure isn’t a continuation from the year’s past, and teams like the Senators demonstrated how quickly the game can change through the season and the postseason. And that’s evident given that they nearly spoiled the Rangers in the first round. But the Senators’ chances were yielded with entirely on the even strength in Game 7, as Daniel Alfredsson tallied the loan goal in the 2-1 result, which came on the power play.

And throughout the season, it were the leaders that stepped up, while a young crop of others jumped in and garnered plenty of attention.

The Senators got brilliant performances eventually out of the players they needed it from: Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, and Milan Michalek, while getting a lot out of Erik Karlsson.

It was a season of new beginnings for some, and finished stories for others. Alfredsson’s decision on whether or not to retire still remains in the air, but, when he comes to his decision, it’ll have significant implications for the Senators.
He’ll be greatly missed, and highly regarded as the best captain in the franchise if he hangs up the skates. But, on the other hand, with great talent on the rise, there’s plenty more unwritten beginnings waiting to unfold in Ottawa.
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