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Remarkable season leaves lasting memories

Friday, 08.06.2007 / 12:00 AM / Features
By Staff Writer
Senators head coach Bryan Murray is pleased with how his team dedicated itself to new philosophies introduced by the coaching staff this season. Photo: A. Ringuette/Freestyle Photography/OSHC

It will be a long time before the highlights from the Ottawa Senators' 2006-07 season will be forgotten.

Hockey Country embraced the Eastern Conference champions for their renewed dedication and commitment to becoming winners.

The Senators battled through a slow start to the regular reason while they learned how to play under a new game plan introduced by the coaching staff. Head coach Bryan Murray and assistants Greg Carvel and John Paddock stressed a deeper commitment to team play and defensive responsibility from the entire lineup. Boasting one of the most talented lineups in the NHL, the coaches wanted the work ethic from each player to match their skill. Ultimately, it did.

"I think you always expect the team is going to get a chance to win, (but maybe) not the way we started," Murray said during his post-game news conference on Wednesday. "We certainly grew a lot over the year."

The Senators' willingness to stay on course with the game plan proved to be worthwhile. Not only did the club record the fourth-highest regular-season point total in team history with 105, it also reached the Stanley Cup final for the first time. A turning point in the season came in December when centremen Jason Spezza, Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher all went down with injuries. The team rallied and filled in the gap, and when those three players returned, the Senators vaulted up the standings, finishing as one of the hottest teams in the league over the second half of the schedule.

Heading into the playoffs on a high, the Sens rolled through the first three rounds in just 15 games, knocking off the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and the Presidents' Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres.

"Nothing happens exactly as you plan it," Senators general manager John Muckler says. "How certain people are going to react, you don't know that. This year was totally different than any other year that I've been here. We had a lot of adversity in the early months and really didn't start to win until early January. We lost Spezza, Vermette and Fisher all at one time, and I think that enabled the coaches and players to show off their skill level. Being able to get more ice time through injuries, I think that helped everybody. All those good things happened in that short period and then in January the chemistry all came together."

Click here for game recaps from the Ottawa Senators' 2006-07 season.

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL