Hello Hockey Ambassador Fans,
Well we have reached the midway point of the 2011/2012 NHL season and WOW what a season it has been so far. There have been no shortage of surprises and topics to talk about. As the ultimate Senators fan lets focus in on there season so far.
The Ottawa Senators Currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference with 54 points in 45 games. They have a record of 24-15-4. If anybody were to tell me this at the beginning of the season I would have thought they were crazy! After a slow start and losing two games by a touchdown, early on the Senators have turned things around and have been playing above expectations. A team that was picked by many experts to finish last or among the bottom feeders of the NHL. Nobody must have sent them the memo because in this years model of the Senators there is no quit.
The Senators are 7-1-2 in there last 10 games and now have won three games in a row. Most recently beating the Eastern conference Leader the New York Rangers 3-0!!!
There Success can not fall on just one player but on the whole team and organization. Leading the charge is there 39 year old Captain Daniel Alfredsson who according to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma "Doesn't look at day older then 37". Alfredsson has 33 points in 39 games and seems to be rejuvenated playing alongside young players Eric Condra and newly acquired Kyle Turris. Jason Spezza is having his best season since the 2008-2009 season and has seemed to take on more of a leadership role being a mentor to his young teammates on and off the ice.He is also leading the charge offensively with 18 goals and 28 assists for a total of 46 points in 45 games. Milan Michalek has also been on a tear this year and is currently tied for third among all NHL players in goals with 23, one back of Phil Kessel and six back of the league leading Steven Stamkos. All three of these players have been voted into the NHL all star game along with there team mate and break out player of the year, 21 year old Swedish Sensation Eric Karlsson. Karlsson had a good sophomore season but nothing that compares to the year he is having this year. He leads all NHL Defensemen in points with 43 points in 44 games, 10 points more then the next closest defensemen Florida's Brian Campbell. Karlsson also received more fan votes to the all star game then any other player in the league. At such a young age he is already a super star and should receive a nomination for the Norris trophy for the leagues top defensmen.
The Ottawa Senators have also been receiving top notch goaltending as of late. With Craig Anderson making 34 saves for his first shutout of the Season on Tuesday Night verses the Rangers. Anderson's numbers were struggling at the begging but have risen with every month that has been played. He is second in wins with 22, he has played the most games out of any goaltender in the league, faced the most shots, made the most saves. With Anderson rounding into form the Senators playoff push is looking better and better after every game.
The Ottawa Senators have six players on there Roaster that won the Calder Cup last year with the Binghtom Senators. There youth and enthusiasm has seemed to really push the pace and light a spark under some of the veterans. Jared Cowen has been averaging just over 19 minutes of play and has been a rock on the Senators Defense all year round. Even chipping in offensively the odd time or two. Collin Greening has found a home on the top line for most of the year and is turning out to be a solid power forward. His North /South game has opened up time and space for both Spezza and Michalek. He was also just named to the NHL all star rookie team.Eric Condra has found chemistry on the Second line playing alongside Alfredsson and Turris. He seems to have the hockey smarts of a Chris Kelly and I believe in a couple of years he may be able to show more of an offensive side.Probably the biggest surprise has been the play of Zack Smith who has put up 12 goals and nine assists and has solidified the third line center position.
Bryan Murry has put together a great mix of young players and veterans, and the acquisition of Kyle Turris for David Runblad has seemed to work out well with Turris producing just under a point per game pace.
Murry finally has found a coach in which the team wants to play and produce for. Paul Maclean has implemented his system and has stressed skating and the team has seemed to embrace this . The team seems to have respect for Maclean and are willing to play hard for him. Maclean knows what it takes for a team to be successful and is a major reason the Senators are where they are in the standings.
So let the push for the playoffs begin, and with a young team which can only get better the sky is the limit. GO SENS GO!!!!!!