Spring is finally here!! *Looks out window. Can’t see due to snow covering window* Ehh…. Well we may have to wait a little longer on that one, but no need to wait for this weeks edition of First Star, Worst Star!!
Everyone’s new second favourite team the Ottawa Senators! Now, if you’re anything like me you always think of the Sens as that kind of weird cousin who is usually pretty quiet and never really disturbs anyone. You don’t really hear about them until they do something cool/embarrassing. But I’ll be dammed if these Sens haven’t been super fun to watch over the last month or so!
Exactly one month ago the Senators were 7 points back of the final wild card spot, and ahead of only Toronto and Buffalo in the Atlantic division. HOWEVER, also exactly one month ago today they were coming off back to back wins from 27 year old rookie goalie Andrew Hammond. “Not bad for an undrafted, 27 year old goalie who is having a pretty sub-par year in the AHL” most Sens fans probably thought to themselves. LITTLE DID THEY KNOW…
Hammond has gone on an incredible tear, winning his first 5 starts in a row, including TWO shutouts, and on the year his totals are an unrealistic 13-0-1 with a .947 SV% and a 1.66 GAA. WUT??? To put that in perspective Carey “SERIOUSLY JUST GIVE HIM THE HART NOW” Price has a .938 SV% and a 1.86 GAA, albeit having played in 44 more games. That. Is. BONKERS!
AND THE FANS IN OTTAWA ARE SALUTING THIS NEW PHENOM BY THROWING CHEESEBURGERS ON THE ICE!! What’s not to love about this entire scenario? It’s been a while since anyone has thrown something other than an Oilers or Leafs jersey on the ice so this is a nice change of pace.
And in case you were somehow made of stone and needed even more convincing, here comes everyone’s new best friend (and former Edmonton Oil King) Curtis Lazar and his never ending smile, scoopin’ up some of Hammond’s well earned after-game snacks and taking a bite! Never in my life did I ever think I’d want my favorite hockey team to be more like the Senators, and yet, here we are!
As of this writing Ottawa sits 1 point out of the final wild card spot in the East, and 4 points behind Detroit for 3rd in the Atlantic. They are 9-1-0 in their last ten, have won 6 games in a row, and have a record of 14-1-1 since Andrew Hammond decided he might as well step in and save the day. It’s still relatively unlikely the Sens actually make the playoffs, but if they do you better reserve your seat on the bandwagon because it’s going to fill up FAST!
The hockey world lost another great mind this Thursday with the passing of CapGeek founder and hockey journalist Matthew Wuest. This has already been covered by much better writers than I, so I’ll hand things over to the Nation’s own Thomas Drance with his thoughts on the incredible impact Matthew had on hockey culture as a whole.