Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Methot, Senators Head into Off-Season Confident Better Times Are Ahead

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Methot, Senators Head into Off-Season Confident Better Times Are Ahead

Article excerpt

Senators feel better times are ahead


OTTAWA - The sting of disappointment hasn't left but the promise of better times ahead has defenceman Marc Methot and his Ottawa Senators teammates going into the off-season with confidence.

The Senators' players packed their bags Tuesday, two days after their season ended with a 2-0 loss to Montreal. That gave the Canadiens the best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series in six games.

But there was plenty for the Senators to feel good about. They made history by becoming the first team ever to qualify for the postseason after being 14 points back.

"When I look back at our record from the last couple months of the season, I mean we did nearly the impossible in terms of getting in," said Methot. "Mixing that in with some incredible performances, individual performances from some guys, including Hammer.

"What he was able to do for us to get us in as a team was huge and you can't forget all those little things."

Much of Ottawa's success was the result of rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond, who went 20-1-2 down the stretch. He's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and ideally would like to remain with the Senators.

"I love the city of Ottawa and I would like to come back here," he said. "But at the end of the day there's two goaltenders on one-way contracts so we'll see what happens."

The other two are Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, meaning Ottawa will have a decision to make this summer.

"My only thought is to come here ready to go in training camp," said Anderson when asked about the possibility of being traded. "Be in the best shape I possibly can and earn my ice time.

"We have good players. That's a good problem to have. It makes everybody better because we have to push each other."

Hammond isn't the only player Ottawa must make a decision on this off-season. …

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