Senators Alphabet: X is for x-Ottawa

Bruce Bennett

X is for x - Ottawa, as in the "x" which appears beside your team's name when they clinch a playoff spot. Sure having a "y" next to your team's name means they've won the division, a "z" means they'll be the top seed in the conference, and "p" means you've captured the Presidents' Trophy, but "x" is all that matters, "x" is what gets you into the playoffs.

7) x - Ottawa (1996-1997). Ottawa finished the season with 31 wins, 36 losses, and 15 ties, good enough for 7th place in the Eastern Conference and their first playoff berth. On April 12, 1997 the Sens clinched a spot with a 1-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. Senators defenseman Steve Duchesne scored the fateful goal with 4:01 remaining in the third period.

8) x - Ottawa (1997-1998). The Sens reached the .500 mark for the first time in their history, with a record of 34 wins, 33 losses, and 15 ties. The eighth-seeded Sens upset the heavily-favoured Devils in the first round to win their first playoff series.

2) y - Ottawa (1998-1999). The Sens clinched their 1st division title with 44 wins, 23 losses, and 15 ties. It marked the first time Ottawa had a 40+ win season, as well as the first time the team finished with 100 points or more (103). It was also the first season the Sens scored more goals for (239) than surrendered against (179). Jacques Martin won the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach, and Alexei Yashin and Marian Hossa were finalists for the Hart and Calder Trophies respectively.

6) x - Ottawa (1999-2000). Ottawa slipped to 6th in the conference in 1999-2000, with a record of 41 wins, 28 losses, 11 ties, and 2 overtime losses. The drop in the standings corresponded with another Yashin contract dispute, which resulted in him missing the entire year. Without an elite point-producer for the season, the Sens received balanced point production, as five players contributed 50+ points (including Daniel Alfredsson and Hossa).

2) y - Ottawa (2000-2001). Ottawa captures their 2nd division title and is the second-seed in the Eastern conference with a record of 48 wins, 21 losses, 9 ties, and 4 overtime losses. This season's Senators set 12 team regular season records.

7) x - Ottawa (2001-2002). Ottawa slipped to 3rd in their division, and 7th in the conference with 39 wins, 27 losses, 9 ties, and 7 overtime losses.

1) p - Ottawa (2002-2003). Ottawa finally reached the top of the regular season standings, winning their first Presidents' Trophy with 52 wins, 21 losses, 8 ties, and 1 overtime loss. The 52 wins and 113 points are all-time team highs. This was the year Jeff Friesen broke everyone's heart.

5) x -Ottawa (2003-2004). Ottawa dropped to 5th in the conference this season, finishing with 43 wins, 23 losses, 10 ties, and 6 overtime losses for 102 points, one back of provincial rivals Toronto. The two teams met in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years and we all know what happened in Game 7.

1) z - Ottawa (2005-2006). Ottawa won the Northeast division and finished in 1st place in the Eastern conference in the first post-lockout season. Their 52 wins and 113 points tied all-time franchise records.

4) x - Ottawa (2006-2007). Ottawa finish in 2nd place in the division, behind the Presidents' Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres. The Sens finished with a recorded of 48 wins, 25 losses, and 9 overtime losses on the way to their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

7) x - Ottawa (2007-2008). Ottawa finished in 7th place with a 43-31-8 record after a disappointing second half. Despite Alfredsson's incredible return for the last two games of the series against the Penguins, the Sens didn't make it past the first round.

5) x - Ottawa (2009-2010). Ottawa finished in 5th place, with a 44-32-6 record. Season highlights included an 11-game winning streak in January and February and Daniel Alfredsson's 1,000th NHL game.

8) x - Ottawa (2011-2012). Ottawa slid to 8th on the last day of the season with a 41-31-10 record. Predicted to finish at the bottom, the team took the Rangers to seven in an exciting series.

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