Us against the world.
That is the way it has been for a very long time it seems. The Ottawa Senators haven't been world-beaters since the first half of the 2007-2008 NHL season. As a result, nobody has given the Senators much of a chance the last couple years.
We've almost become used to it, haven't we? Embraced it? It has become the identity of the team under Paul MacLean. Last year, in his first season, Paulrus inherited a team that was pegged for the Eastern Conference basement. Every expert was crawling over the last one to let you know how bad the Senators would be. Even when the Senators managed to make the playoffs (and help "experts" get a little egg on their faces), they entered the first round ready to face the New York Rangers, a team that was very close to a President's trophy. Needless to say, the Sens were the underdogs.
Even when the Senators took the Rangers to 7 games, they entered this season looking like they would inevitably need to shed their underdog label. Enter serious, long-term injuries to Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson and Jared Cowen, as well as injury troubles for Milan Michalek. Many Sens fans wrote the season off along with the experts this time, and yet, the Senators found themselves in a battle for 5th in the East for most of the season. They adopted the moniker "PeskySens" to highlight the notion that they are underdogs.
But now what? Most "experts" and panels (with the exception of notorious hockey genius Glenn Healy) have picked the Sens to take down the Montreal Canadiens in their first round matchup, despite the Habs winning the Northeast.
Should be interesting to see how these Senators react to some expectations for a change, instead of all their successes being gravy.
- Hilarious post from the Mullet about other Masterton Nominees the Sens could have put forth [SSS]
- The Silver Seven Playoff Pool. [SSS]
- Prospect Roundup from Bobby. [SSS]
- Ups and Downs heading into the playoffs. [SSS]
- With injuries less of a factor, the Sens will face the Habs with a lineup they haven't seen yet. [SE]
- Subban vs Karlsson. Get used to it. [SE]
- Doni Brennan fires a shot across the bow, saying that a Norris Trophy separates Erik "Garbage Pick" Karlsson from P.K. Subban. [Sun]
- ... but there's more to the series than the EK-PK competition. [Sun]
- Craig Anderson is amped for the post-season. [Sun]
- Murray speaks, Nichols transcribes. [6thSens]
- Couldn't have said it better - Bring on the Habs. [6thSens]
- Alfie applauds the courage of Jason Collins for his historic announcement earlier this week. [Sun]