A 48-game campaign was supposed to be abbreviated, but the Senators had so many memorable moments over the past couple of months that you could have sworn this was a full season.
From stunt-double coaches to a series of ridiculous injuries, here’s a look at the 10 most memorable moments of the Ottawa Senators’ 2013 regular season:
1. Paul MacLean’s stunt double
Nothing is going to top the night Mike Watson — aka Paul MacClone — sat directly behind the Senators bench at Scotiabank Place. Whenever our camera panned the home bench, it looked like you were seeing double. MacLean claimed that he didn’t notice Watson sitting there, but that’s probably because he thought he was looking at a reflection in the glass. Here’s hoping Watson buys tickets for at least one playoff game during this Habs series.
2. Kaspars Daugavins shootout move
Kaspars Daugavins unorthodox attempt against Tuukka Rask in March will go down as one of the all-time great moments in NHL shootout history, joining Marek Malik, Pavel Datsyuk….and that’s about the entire list. Daugavins’ move was so controversial that David Krejci told me after the game that he would be upset if one of his own teammates tried that stunt. Naturally, Daugavins was claimed off waivers by Boston a couple of weeks later and is now teammates with Krejci.
3. Erik Karlsson’s Achilles injury
In a season full of devastating injuries, this was the most crushing one to the Ottawa Senators and their fan base. The sight of Karlsson leaving the ice in Pittsburgh on one leg was the most deflating regular season moment in franchise history.
4. Erik Karlsson’s comeback and playoff clinch
When Karlsson suffered that injury in mid-February, we were told that he was likely done for the entire regular season and playoffs. What we didn’t know is that Karlsson is a freaking cyborg. I honestly think they were just waiting for his replacement part to come in from overseas and that’s why he missed 10 weeks. Of course, Karlsson picked up a pair of assists in his first game back at Washington on April 25, as the Sens clinched a playoff spot.
5. Craig Anderson’s injury
When Craig Anderson was bowled over by Rangers forward Chris Kreider, I naturally assumed that Scotiabank Place was built on an ancient burial ground. I mean, there was no other explanation for how the Senators could lose so many key players in such a short period of time. Anderson ended up missing almost six weeks with his sprained ankle, which probably cost him the Vezina Trophy.
6. Sens game in Boston cancelled
The Senators had the misfortune of being in Boston on Patriots Day this year and were just a few blocks away from the site of the Boston Marathon bombing. As a result, the Senators game at TD Garden that night had to be postponed and was replayed on April 28th — a matchup that ended up determining the fate of three different playoff series in the Eastern Conference.
7. David Dziurzynski gets knocked out
David Dziurzynski’s nickname of ‘Dizzy’ became all-too fitting when he was knocked out cold by Toronto’s Frazer McLaren on March 6th. The sickening thud of Dziurzynski hitting the ice is a sound nobody who was at the Air Canada Centre that night will forget.
8. The comeback on Long Island
On March 19th, the Senators entered the third period trailing 3-1 against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum. But Ottawa showed off their classic “Pesky Sens” mojo by picking up their peskiest win of the season — scoring four unanswered goals in a 5-3 win.
9. Colin Greening’s late goal vs. Toronto
Colin Greening scored with less than 30 seconds left to give the Sens their lone regular season win over Toronto on home ice. The best part of Greening’s heroics is that it allowed his ‘Single Ladies’ video from Cornell to resurface on the internet.
10. Andre Benoit’s first NHL goal — called back
Andre Benoit should have had his first NHL goal on February 3rd at Montreal, but it was called back because of one of the most ridiculous phantom goalie interference calls you’ll ever see. Jakob Silfverberg did not come close to invading Carey Price’s space inside the blue paint, but the officials didn’t see it that way. But let’s be honest, this wouldn’t be a legitimate Senators top 10 list without at least one referee conspiracy.