Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Senators Believe Big Second Half Will Land Them NHL Playoff Spot

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Senators Believe Big Second Half Will Land Them NHL Playoff Spot

Article excerpt

Sens on cusp of playoff spot after 41 games

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OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators aren't in a playoff spot at the halfway mark of the season, but considering the challenges they've faced through the first 41 games of the year they feel pretty good that won't be the case by the end of the season.

After starting the season with a new head coach, new system and dealing with unforeseen circumstances the Senators have managed to remain a competitive force in the Eastern Conference.

After 41 games Ottawa has a 22-15-4 record and its 48 points have them tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division, but the Leafs hold the tiebreaker.

The Senators have been without its number one goaltender for much of the season, as Craig Anderson supports his wife Nicole through cancer treatment, and without forward Clarke MacArthur, who is still recovering from post-concussion syndrome. But Ottawa has largely been able been able to withstand the challenges, thanks in part to the play of goaltender Mike Condon.

"To be fair to Condon he's done everything he could, with the situation that we've got," said Senators coach Guy Boucher. "He hasn't had the number-one job in the NHL. He's one of those guys that right now had to battle above expectations and above what he's had to do in the past and he has done really, really well. It's all positives...He's playing great, he's given us everything he's got and I think the players recognize that.

I think he represents our season: adversity, fight through and make it happen and that's why we're in the fight."

Boucher admitted losing MacArthur and being without Anderson were significant blows.

"To be where we are right now with what's happened I have to congratulate the players because they've shown a terrific attitude and work ethic and a buy in," said Boucher. …

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