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Eulogy: Remembering the 2011-12 Ottawa Senators

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The fans who hated them the most. Here are the folks from Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets, fondly recalling their Battle of Ontario mates the 2011-12 Ottawa Senators. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)

By Gruce Barrioch and Bon Drennan, ages six
(edited by Chemmy, PPP and mf37 from Pension Plan Puppets)

We're prestigious journalists. We're not bloggers.

We don't give our opinions away for free; you have to pay 25 cents (a quarter loonie, aka the "quoonie", for those of you familiar with our exceptional and interesting currency) to get our opinions along with a hundred pages of other people's opinions. Or if you're lucky, you get a free copy at Tim Hortons. That's Dunkin Donuts but delicious, for you American infidels.

Frankly, it's become clear that there's an NHL conspiracy afoot.

How else would you explain the Ottawa Senators' record in Game 7s?

If a Game 7 happens, it means that two teams were evenly matched through the first six games of the series; this is basic logic even for an Ottawa Sun employee. That's why we were forced to write this eulogy for the league's most successful and respected team: the Ottawa Senators.

If you'll be so kind as to listen, we'll set down our red and white pom poms and tell you the under-appreciated story of a majestic team kept down by NHL politics.

Remember, a blogger couldn't possibly have written this because bloggers are stupid.

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April 29th, 1997 - Ottawa Senators 2 at Buffalo Sabres 3 (OT)

Ron Tugnutt lays on his back in the crease, his hands covering his beatified face. Symbolically he stares at the Heaven that will never accept him to say, "Why God?"

Two lucky goals by Derek Plante, to first tie the game and then win it in overtime for the NHL's favored Buffalo children are all the evidence you need here. Could a franchise as great as our beloved Senators, a franchise with eleven Stanley Cup banners hanging in its hallowed halls, lose on two lucky goals to a 5-foot-11 American who never scored more than 56 points in a season?

One un-named NHL source said, "Of all the Swedes who have ever captained an NHL team, Alfredsson is in the top 5."

Who's laughing now Derek Plante?

Daniel Alfredsson's stat line: 0-0-0
Cumulative Game 7 total: 1GP 0-0-0
Senators Game 7 Record 0-1

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May 14th, 2002 - Ottawa Senators 0 at Toronto Maple Leafs 3

Surely we all agree that the Ottawa Senators could never be described as chokers. Would a choker make himself available to the media after losing a fixed game?

Wade Redden proved he was no choker when he stepped into the scrum and bravely answered each and every question directed at him. His insight and analysis into the game shows a brilliant hockey mind at work:

"We didn't get it done," Senators Wade Redden said following Tuesday's 3-0 loss. "You can look back at a number of things. We had them up 2-1 at home, Game 6 at home, and we couldn't, you know."

He does everything but admit that the NHL once again had the Senators' chances kneecapped for a more popular television market and their attendant handsome fans.

There's no other explanation.

"We would have won the series if Tie Domi had better balance," Alfredsson said.

Daniel Alfredsson's stat line: 0-0-0
Cumulative Game 7 total: 2GP 0-0-0
Senators Game 7 Record 0-2

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May 23, 2003 - New Jersey Devils 3 at Ottawa Senators 2

"Inspirational words from coach Pat Burns and several teammates -- including injured forward Joe Nieuwendyk -- kept [Friesen] focused and ready to shine."

I mean honestly. Jeff Friesen?

As my colleague Bon Drennan's super hot girlfriend, who is a real person and not the made up fantasy construct of an overweight man child getting paid peanuts to write about a sports team no one's parents cheered for, always says: "If the NHL wants to fix games it should make the outcomes believable".

One look at Ottawa's history of regular season excellence should tell you that they wouldn't lose a Game 7 to a nobody for the second year in a row. This is a franchise with grace and class and excellence, just remember that if you're going to get quotes from Bryan Murray to bring the plastic sheet you got at the most exciting event in Ottawa history: last week's Gallagher show.

We spoke with Brad Marsh's mechanic, a man that knows hockey and high performance, and he said..."What's the one constant in the Sens losing game 7s? Most of the players have changed, the ownership has changed and even the composition of the league has changed. But Bob Cole, he did most of those games, eh. That's the one constant. You want to find a conspiracy, you need look no further than that guy. He calls the game as if he doesn't know who's got a penalty or any of the Sens' players names to cover up the fact that he knows the outcome in advance."

Daniel Alfredsson's stat line: 0-0-0
Cumulative Game 7 total: 3GP 0-0-0
Senators Game 7 Record 0-3

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April 20, 2004 - Ottawa Senators 1 at Toronto Maple Leafs 4

Just look at this tripe from the New York Times:

"One Senator who did not play well in the series was Daniel Alfredsson, the captain, who guaranteed a series victory after Ottawa fell behind, three games to two."

Alfredsson is a real leader of men who was willing to do everything his team needed that year. Look at this quote revealing his complete confidence in his team from before the playoffs:

"Go ahead and write it, I guarantee we'll win the Cup."

It speaks to Alfredsson's leadership skills that he didn't say which year the Sens would win the Cup.  The visionary captain likely had 2012-13 in mind when he uttered those inspiring words. Next year may be the skilled-Swede's last in the NHL. If any player is capable of leading an already talented team back into Stanley Cup contention, it's the 40-year-old Swede who's leadership has driven the Sens to heights unimaginable to most of the other Canadian franchises.

Alfredsson had no shots on net in the game but inspired his teammates with his determination and will power.

Daniel Alfredsson's stat line: 0-0-0
Cumulative Game 7 total: 4GP 0-0-0
Senators Game 7 Record 0-4

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April 26, 2012 - Ottawa Senators 1 at New York Rangers 2

A glorious effort from heroic captain Daniel "King Clutch" Alfredsson shows how the poised and wily veteran tried to carry his team on his back in a Game 7. Though they ultimately fell short to the largest media market in the United States (what a shock, huh NHL?) it's clear that Daniel Alfredsson proved himself as a big game player for these scrappy Senators by scoring a goal on the power play to avoid getting shut out.

Just think of how many writers said Daniel Alfredsson couldn't show up when it mattered. Just think of all the idiot little bloggers who block people on Twitter and write articles about people without bothering to contact them. Where are they now, huh? Daniel Alfredsson proved everyone wrong last night. Everyone but the Ottawa Sun, of course.

Daniel Alfredsson's stat line: 1-0-1
Cumulative Game 7 total: 5GP 1-0-1
Senators Game 7 Record 0-5

June 6, 2007 - Ottawa Senators 2 at Anaheim Ducks 6

As if to make their point clear on the biggest stage possible, the NHL ordered Chris Phillips to score into his own net to clinch the Stanley Cup for the Anaheim Ducks. They then insisted that Zdeno Chara be let go in free agency so that the Senators could retain the services of known double agent Wade Redden.

Essentially none of this adds up. It's not possible that the Ottawa Senators are a team that has reliably imploded at every crucial moment they faced, just as it's impossible that this eulogy for Canada's Team was written by Leafs fan bloggers.

If you want good information on inside NHL deals like the time Pittsburgh traded Evgeni Malkin to the LA Kings, there's nowhere to go but the Ottawa Sun. Objective journalism from the very best.

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