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A regular inclusion in the post-game recaps here at Silver Seven Sens is the "Sens Killer"; a player whom, in that given game, did all that was possible to snatch victory from the Senators. I decided to start looking up some stats, digging through some uncomfortable memories, and perusing Youtube to determine who were the biggest all-time Sens Killers. Some of the answers might surprise you. Some might not.
#5. Jaromir Jagr
Here’s a fun bit of trivia for you: Jaromir Jagr is the all-time leading regular season poinst-scorer against the Ottawa Senators. Bet you didn’t know that, huh? Given the time he’s been away from the league, as well as his relative distance on teams like Washington, New York, and now Philadelphia, it might be easy to forget that he’s done a lot of damage to the Senators over the years. Specifically, he’s racked up 36 goals along with 41 assists over 61 regular season games against the Senators, giving him a relatively large lead over the rest of the league when it comes to scoring on the Sens.
See, once upon a time, boys and girls, the Ottawa Senators were not a very good team. And I don’t mean in the way Carolina or Buffalo are not very good teams. I mean in the way land mines aren’t very good children's toys. The Senators spent the first few years in this league crying and blurry-eyed, hobbling around like a newborn giraffe. During these days in the ‘90s, the Senators were in the same division as a Penguins team with two of the best five forwards in the history of the NHL. It was not pretty.
Interestingly enough, Jagr did not condense his scoring against the Senators into single, spectacular games; rather, he registered a point in 44 of his 61 games against the club, and only hit four points in a single game three times (between 1996 and 2000, even after the Sens were no longer utterly atrocious). Luckily for the Senators, they never faced Jagr in a playoff series; Jagr’s played at least one series against 12 of the other 14 franchises in the conference! Perhaps that’s the real reason he’s returned to the NHL? Because without any playoff action on this list, he can’t move up any higher. It’s obligatory to give the all-time leading scorer against the Senators a spot here, but the lack of playoff action makes it hard to tout him as one of the top Sens killers, given that during the era he played against them most, the biggest Sens killer was the team itself.
Regular season: 61 GP, 36 G, 41 A
#4. Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts is one of the more feared names in Senators’ history. While the other occupants of this list are legitimate NHL stars, including some of the very best to play the game, Roberts got by on a mix of toughness, sheer willpower, and otherwordly stamina. Never a top flight scorer, Roberts nevertheless remained a significant player into his 40s by bringing experience and leadership in spades.
He’s also one of the few players to have terrorized the Senators in two uniforms. As a member of the Maple Leafs and Penguins, he played five playoff series against the Senators, winning four of them. There isn’t much to comment on with regards to his regular season performances against the Senators; he played all right, I suppose, but his warrior style is really suited to the playoffs.
And boy, did he ever light up the Senators in the playoffs. Here’s another fun fact: do you know which player has the most playoff games in which he has registered a point against the Senators? Would it shock you if I told you it was Gary Roberts? Seriously. While he’s not the leading scorer against the Sens in the playoffs, Roberts did put up a very good 23 points (12 goals, 11 assists) in 24 games played against Ottawa. Throw in the grit and pain he brought, and that’s a true Sens Killer.
Some of his best moments came against the Sens. There was that heartbreaking triple-overtime goal, in a game where Ottawa controlled the play, and seemed certain to take the 2-0 lead a shake the spectre of the Leafs. The dominant performance in game one of the 2008 series against the Penguins, including a goal one minute in, which set the tone of the series. A crucial goal in game 6 in 2002... hell, the entire 2002 series (he potted 5 goals and 5 assists in that series). He was the prototypical playoff warrior, and he brought it all against Ottawa. There’s a reason he’s one of the most revered players by fans of several franchises. He’s the guy everyone wants on their team.
Regular season: 46 GP, 15 G, 17 A
Playoff: 24 GP, 12 G, 11 A