Round One: Another Loss in the Midst of an Uphill Battle for the Ottawa Senators
At the beginning of the 2007-2008 NHL season it seemed that all was well in the "Sens Nation."
With a fresh outlook after an unsuspected run to the finals, the Senators seemed to have had everything going for them. Their season started out remarkably, with a 16-3-0 record and a complete and undoubted passion for the game. Martin Gerber held a tight space in between the net and no one seemed to be troubled.
But then the first blow came.
Anton Volchenkov had a finger injury and was out for a number of weeks. Then Emery had a few too many run-ins with both on and off ice authorities. This led to bad press and fans were furious with his actions. It was another minor blip on the Senators' conscience.
It wasn't much longer until both Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley got injured. Heatley was out for almost six weeks due to a separated shoulder.
In the mean time, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza rejoiced during the All-Star break. But upon return to the regular season, many more injuries were added to the list.
A few trades were made, and a slow but steady downhill tumble soon followed.
Something had to be done, and so with no other options General Manager Brian Murray replaced head coach John Paddock in an to attempt to relieve some of the pinching fans.
Not much celebrating has happened since.
In two months, the Ottawa Senators fell from first to seventh with a bitter struggle to make the playoffs.
With that struggle came two more unexpected losses. Daniel Alfredsson was unfairly hit in the head and was deemed unable to play for the foreseeable future (the rough play by Bell of the Toronto Maple leafs went uncalled).
Also, Mike Fisher suffered a knee injury during the same game, and by the same player.
But the misfortune didn't end there.
The first round of the playoffs has started out with a bang and a whimper. Not only has Anton Volchenkov, the best shot-blocking defense man in the NHL, suffered an injury to the head, but the Senators are also losing an internal battle.
The controversy of the goalies still weighs heavy on everyone's mind, let alone the will to cope without Captain Daniel Alfredsson, and whole-hearted player Mike Fisher.
However, there are some improvements in the midst of all the hockey melodrama. Antoine Vermette has certainly redeemed himself this season. He has had quite the success with a hat trick and a more aggressive attitude these past two months.
In the words of Jack Johnson "More of this or less of this, or is there any difference, or are we just holding on to things that we don't have anymore." I guess we'll leave it up to the Senators to decide where this season will end, and when next season will begin.
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