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The Ottawa Senators’ season was full of epic highs and the lowest of lows. The team gave us so many great moments that Sens fans will remember for a very long time. What I would like to do in this article is look back on some of these moments, and give my top 5 best moments of the Senator’s season.
Some Honorable Mentions For The Best Moments Of The Senators Season
- Chychrun’s first goal as an Ottawa Senator
- Alfie to the hall
- Mandolese/Ferguson first games
- The late comeback win against Calgary.
5: Giroux Caps Off The Elite Penalty Kill Against San Jose.
At the five spot, I have Claude Giroux’s short-handed slapshot goal against the San Jose Sharks. This play still gives me chills, the chaos on the penalty kill had all Sens fans on the edges of their seats. Both Travis Hamonic and Anton Forsberg stood on their head’s during this play. It’s truly baffling how the Sharks were unable to score after so many high-danger opportunities.
The icing on the cake for this play was Giroux telling the media that he decided on the slapshot because of a conversation with Shane Pinto, “In between periods, I told Pinto I was going to score on a slapshot.” The buildup, the shot, the eruption, and the hilarious context make this one of my most memorable moments from the 2022/2023 season.
4: Tkachuk Shows Out Against The New York Rangers
Coming in as my fourth most memorable Sens moment from this season was Brady Tkachuk showing out at Madison Square Garden. In my opinion, this was Brady Tkachuk’s best game as a member of the Ottawa Senators. The captain, to put it simply took over the game and willed his team to victory. Tkachuk finished the game with 2 goals and an assist.
But Tkachuk didn’t just impress on the scoresheet. While some people may remember his game by the two clutch goals, others will remember it for his heavyweight scrap against Jacob Trouba. Allow me to re-set the scene. About 5 minutes are remaining in the second period, game tied 1-1. Then at centre ice of MSG, the biggest stage in the NHL, Rangers and Senator’s captains Jacob Trouba and Brady Tkachuk drop the mitts. Both guys throw some absolute bombs as the crowd erupts with a booming roar.
Fast forward to the third period, and the Rangers take the lead on a goal from former Senator Mika Zibanejad. The game appeared to be all but over until the captain, Brady Tkachuk, tied the game with a tip off of a Chabot point shot with just under 50 seconds remaining. Then, in overtime, it was once again Tkaptain Tkachuk scoring a breakaway winner to silence the Rangers fans and give the Senators 2 crucial points.
3: Claude Giroux Hits 1000 Career Points
Of course, I couldn’t leave out the biggest milestone hit by an Ottawa Senator this season with Claude Giroux’s 1000th NHL point. This was such a special moment for Giroux and the entire Senators team. Seeing the bench clear to congratulate Giroux was such a cool moment for the fans to experience with the team, it shows how tight of a group the Sens have created.
The play itself was nothing overly spectacular, but honestly, who cares. It was Tim Stutzle who scored the goal to get Giroux his milestone, but there was no celebration from Stutzle or for Stutzle. Everybody knew what had happened, and the look on Giroux’s face was not one normally seen. For as serious and intense as Giroux is, even he couldn’t help keeping an ear-to-ear smile off of his face.
2: “Who Wants It” Tkachuk And The Sens Dominate The Red Wings
This entry is kind of a 2-in-1 combination of moments. I’m sure most Sens fans have very fond memories of the two-game series the Sens had against the Detroit Red Wings. At the time, the Senators and Red Wings were in the midst of the playoff race in the Atlantic division. Before the two games, Detroit was ahead of the Senators in the standings, and these were must-win games for both teams.
Needless to say, Ottawa handled the Red Wings with ease beating them 6-1 and 6-2 in back-to-back games. But the Senators flexed their muscles on the Red Wings in more ways than one. The Ottawa Senators, and specifically Brady Tkachuk, completely bullied the Detroit Red Wings over two days. The famous moment that everybody remembers was Brady Tkachuk challenging the entire Red Wings bench yelling, “Who f**** wants it?” To which no Red Wings answered. What excited me the most about these games, was how they showed the team’s true potential. It showed their ability to outscore opponents, and dominate the game in the physical aspect as well.
1: The Senators Home Opener Against The Bruins
And finally, at number one, I have decided to go with the Ottawa Senators’ home opener against the Boston Bruins. Everybody remembers the anticipation around the new Senators team last off-season with the DeBrincat and Giroux acquisitions. The home opener was the first opportunity for the fans to see the team perform in person, and the city packed the stadium.
Of course, the team didn’t make the fans wait long to get out of their seats. Claude Giroux opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, which resulted in a total eruption in the arena. Then just 2 minutes later, Stutzle fed Brady Tkachuk who scored five whole to make the game 2-0 just 3 minutes in, but the scoring was just beginning. Drake Batherson added a third goal with about 7 minutes left in the first to give Ottawa the 3-0 lead.
However, the emotional high was shortly lived as Boston would go on to tie the game just over a minute into the 2nd period. This game already had fans on a rollercoaster, but luckily things were about to pick up. Ottawa would answer Boston by scoring 3 consecutive goals from Pinto, Stutzle, and Kastelic to take back their 3 goal lead. But just like their first lead, Boston came storming back in quick order to cut it down to one just before the end of the second period.
Finally, the third period rolled around with the Senators holding onto a 1 goal lead. And then, out of nowhere, an unlikely hero emerged by the name of Artem Zub. This goal was pure determination by Zub, who followed his shot to score a rebound goal. And if you thought it was loud for the Giroux goal, the Zub chants were even more spectacular. The entire arena in unison began chanting “Zub”, and that ended up being all Boston could handle as Ottawa would go on to win the game 7-5.