Sens 'surprise' with resiliency
The Sens have been getting some NHL.com love lately and that continued today as the team was listed as one of their 24 first half surprises.
Here's what the site had to say:
20. Senators staying the course
Potentially season-ending injuries to star center Jason Spezza and Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson probably should have derailed the Ottawa Senators' quest for a playoff berth. Those debilitating injuries still may kill Ottawa's season, but at least for now the Senators remain very much alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race despite not having their two best players.
What Ottawa is lacking in offense it has made up for in a League-best defense -- and this is despite the fact that Craig Anderson hasn't played since Feb. 21 because of an ankle injury. Robin Lehner and Ben Bishop have been terrific in goal and the Senators' penalty kill is among the best in the NHL.
While this story line has been highlighted, re-highlighted, bolded, italicised and underlined over the course of the season, it hasn't become any less extraordinary, especially when you do a quick pan across the league.
Consider Monday's shootout loss against Boston, who are a heavy Stanley Cup favourite. The Sens have lost 118 man games to injury. The Bruins have lost seven. The Sens have taken two of four points against the Bruins and sit six points back in the East, though the Bruins have played two fewer games. Not many teams hold up against an opponent that strong in a game or in the bigger picture under similar circumstances.
With players slowly trickling back from injury and encouraging signs like Guillaume Latendresse's beautiful goal against Boston on Monday, you never know what may happen from here on out.
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