The Ottawa Senators finished 2015 NHL regular-season in fairy-tale fashion, with a win over the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-1 on Saturday. The victory punched the Sens ticket to the post-season, after a historic second half to the NHL campaign with a team record of :25-3 since February. Ottawa will be playing playoff hockey for the first time in three seasons.
Rookie sensation, Mark Stone led the way with two goals in the hockey game.Yet, another clutch performance at the NHL level for Stone. At the end of the day, the fresh-faced kid was tied with Calgary Flames youngster, Johnny Gaudreau at 64 points for the rookie scoring lead. When you factor in the amount of goals, Stone should win Rookie of the Year. Not to mention, maybe surprisingly, to some people Mark Stone has the most takeaways in the NHL.
The real big-game player of the last few months, without question: Andrew Hammond. His record between the pipes speaks for itself:
” With the win Hammond ran his incredible record to 20-1-2. Yes, Hammond is a 20-game winner. If he were a baseball pitcher he’d be in line for the Cy Young Award. As it is, he is the main reason the Senators are in the playoffs today. Throughout, Hammond has been there at his team’s hour of need.”
“I’ve never had a stretch of hockey like this in my life,” said the soft-spoken hero. “I don’t think it’s something anyone can explain. It’s just been so much fun coming to the rink every day.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet, but (Sunday) morning when we wake up we’ll be in the playoffs. It’s a really special feeling for our group, to see the hill we were able to climb. There’s a lot of satisfaction, a lot of hard work that went into this.”
Hammond cautioned higher-seeded teams that the Senators don’t intend to just show up in the playoffs “and go home.
I am proud of all five of the Canadian hockey clubs that have made the playoffs in 2015. As remarkable as their stories are there is none more profound than the Ottawa Senators… What a ride.
Quotes courtesy of: Ottawa Citizen