Hockey in April is arguably the most exciting and nail biting time of the season. Every game feels like a playoff game and playoff vibes are in the air. It’s undeniable that Ottawa currently has hockey fever and it’s not about to cool down anytime soon. This year has been a roller coaster of injuries, leaves of absence, and roster changes and fans have been riding the turns with devotion and hope for postseason success.
Historically the Ottawa Senators have had a fairly strong presence in the playoffs since their inaugural season, but unfortunately don’t often make it successfully past the first or second round. Everyone remembers the 2006-2007 season where our team made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals only to experience a heartbreaking loss to the Anaheim Ducks. But there was no denying it, Ottawa fans are strong, proud and loud. Bars and restaurants all over the city rally together to support their home team, and team spirit is felt throughout the entire 60 minutes of play.
This year there is a sense of urgency expressed by the team. Under the new guidance of coach Guy Boucher, the Ottawa Senators seem to have found a finesse they didn’t possess before. The team seems to prosper under Boucher’s lead and fans have certainly noticed improvement in both defensive and offensive play.
The unlikely addition of defenceman Dion Phaneuf last year from Toronto has also shaken the team up a bit. Previously one of the most disliked opposing players by Ottawa fans, Phaneuf joined the team in February of 2016 and has been an incredible asset ever since. The ‘boos’ that once swallowed him when he entered Ottawa territory have been replaced with cheers. It seems like most recent trade acquisitions have all benefited the team in some way. All in all, Ottawa is looking to have a pretty good lineup and everyone is hopeful for the upcoming postseason.
2015-2016 year was heartbreaking for Sens fans since we didn’t make the playoffs, but every fan remembers the 2014-2015 season! With goalie injuries plaguing the team Ottawa wasn’t hopeful for a shot at the playoffs, but in skates Andrew Hammond, later to be formally known as the “Hamburglar” for constantly stealing wins. The Hamburglar posted a miraculous 20 wins for the Sens and effectively paved the way for them into the postseason. Every devoted Sens fan will always remember their team as the “Pesky Sens” that year. Unfortunately Hammond wasn’t able to repeat the same numbers as he did with his debut with the Sens, but the Hamburglar will forever be entrenched in our Sens fan memory bank.
This year the team and fans alike are almost certain that a playoffs spot has Ottawa’s name on it. The team has been working hard all year for a chance to skate closer to the revered Stanley Cup and anticipation hangs in the air. At this point it is unlikely, but not impossible, for the Sens to be pushed out of a playoff position. The Ottawa Senators have the support of a devoted city who want to see success for their home team and bring the Stanley Cup to the Canada’s Capital just in time for the country’s 150th birthday. Perhaps this was the monumental moment the Ottawa Senators have been waiting for all along, time will tell.