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Sens top 5 wins this past season/McGuire & Dorion

June 1, 2022, 10:36 PM ET [12 Comments]
Kevin Francis
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I haven't had the opportunity to write since I posted my last blog about the firing of Pierre McGuire. I was overwhelmed by the response from the Sens fanbase and hockey community in general. The positive feedback was incredible, but naturally, like anything in sports, you get your naysayers but those were far and few between as they say. Compared to those who went above and beyond to IM here on Hockeybuzz or on Twitter it made it even more worthwhile to hear the kind words from both regular readers and strangers. I'm glad I was able to get information out there that others didn't want to put their name to. In fact, I heard from a few very close people to McGuire who said that all I stated in my piece was 100% fact and then went on to tell me even more about how awful Sens GM Pierre Dorion was to him both on a personal and professional level. Plus to hear from several mainstream media members in the hockey world, that's what made me realize that the article had an impact as those credentialled media types said to keep pushing through any negativity and that what I was writing was spot on! A massive thank you to everyone for the support!

I will be back to blogging every second day on the Sens now that life has calmed down from being sick to not having power for an extended period of time in Ottawa. I will be writing about numerous topics as I keep getting more information regarding what's going on in the front office/ownership side of things. If anyone out there has legitimate info and wants to remain unnamed in my piece, please reach out to me via IM on Twitter. I will post some fun pieces about this past season as well, like today's blog. I will start to focus on rumours, the NHL entry draft, and the free agency signing period now that the month of June is upon us.

I wanted to take a look back at the top 5 wins this past season for the Ottawa Senators. With many highs and lows throughout the season, plus the Sens had a very pedestrian record of 33-42-7, this type of list will vary among Sens fans. Surprisingly when looking back at the season, Ottawa had a better road record(18-20-3) than their home record(15-22-4). I have four road wins in my top 5! Here's what I came up with -

Thurs. Dec. 2nd @ Carolina - After losing 6 in a row and coming off a bad bout of Covid, the Sens essentially quit the night before at home against Vancouver in a 6-2 loss. The coaching staff and players weren't holding back with anything in that postgame presser. Then they had to go on the road, get in at 3am, and face a Hurricanes team that was sitting there rested waiting for a wounded Sens bunch. Ottawa showed a ton of resiliency in not only snapping their season worst 6 game losing streak but showed a ton of character when they could've easily used fatigue as an excuse if they lost the game. For whatever reason, Ottawa played so well on the road against playoff bound teams, and in this game, the Sens blew a 2-0 lead, it looked like fatigue might catch up to them but they rebounded with a huge goal by Josh Norries with less than 6 minutes to go, hanging on for a 3-2 road win.

Sun. Feb. 13th @ Washington - With the NHL schedule maker not being kind to Ottawa with the so many makeup games due to covid shutting down the NHL season for a short period of time, the Sens were only one of 3 teams this season to have to play 5 games in 7 nights. Everyone counted them out as they embarked on their 5th game in 7 nights at Washington. The Caps had only played two games that week and they didn't play the night before while Ottawa did against Boston. This was another huge win for a young team that had no business being in this game, they won 4-1 against another playoff bound team.

Tues. March 8th @ St. Louis - This was yet again, another massive character road win for Ottawa as they were playing their 5th game in 8 nights on the road when they visited the Blues. They had lost the first four of the road trip and in the prior game in Vegas, the Sens got burned on a horrible penalty call late in the game, leading to Vegas scoring with five seconds to go for the 2-1 win over Ottawa. Everyone counted them out but the Sens were a focused group, as they went into St. Louis against one of the top 4 teams in the Western Conference at the time and came out with a convincing 4-1 road win.

Thurs. April 14th @ Boston - Ottawa had 10 wins during the month of April and closed out the season strong but their only win over a playoff bound team came on the road again, this time in Boston, a place where Ottawa hasn't fared well over the years in the regular season. Plus this was the Sens only win of the regular season over the Bruins, which gave it added meaning. At the time, Boston was pushing to finish in the top 3 of the Atlantic Division, to avoid a wildcard match up in the first round of the playoffs. With losses of 3-2, 2-0 and 3-2 in the three prior games, Ottawa turned the tables and walked out of Boston with a 3-2 road win. After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the Sens scored three unanswered goals in the second period, to secure the win.

Tues. April 26th vs NJ - This was the only win on home ice that made my top 5. I know many Sens fans will say, who cares that Ottawa beat a bottom five team in the Devils. But with that 5-4 OT win for Ottawa, this was the Sens first 4 game win streak in almost 5 years! Many Sens fans will say we better see many more of those streaks next season and eliminate having two separate 6 game losing streaks like Ottawa did this past season.

I had a few games that almost made the top 5. Most notably were two games, Dec. 11 at home to TB in which Ottawa won 4-0 but the Lightning had Brian Elliott in goal. Add to the fact that TB was playing their 5th game in less than 8 nights, being an afternoon game in Ottawa that Saturday, and they truly took Ottawa lightly as they had won all 4 on their road trip at the time prior to losing to the Sens. The other game that just missed the cut for my top 5 wins was an 8-2 victory in Florida on Dec. 14th. The reason is it didn't make my top 5 like the TB game, as it was another situation where the Sens faced a backup goaltender in Spencer Knight, plus Barkov their best player was out of the lineup. Couple that with catching the Panthers off a road trip and having just sunk everything into their game in a 3-2 loss in Colorado a night earlier, this game set up well for Ottawa as it was a huge emotional letdown for Florida. I always say, over the course of the season, teams catch other teams in tough situations leading to wins you didn't expect.

Does your list of top 5 wins compare to that of mine? Did I miss a win that you think belonged in the top 5? I'm curious to hear your thoughts and comments on the blog.
Thanks for reading.
Kevin
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