2014–15 Ottawa Senators season

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2014–15 Ottawa Senators
Division 4th Atlantic
Conference 7th Eastern
2014–15 record 43–26–13
Home record 23–13–5
Road record 20–13–8
Goals for 238
Goals against 215
Team information
General Manager Bryan Murray
Coach Paul MacLean
Dave Cameron
Captain Erik Karlsson
Alternate captains Chris Neil
Chris Phillips
Arena Canadian Tire Centre
Average attendance 18,246 (95.3%)
Minor league affiliate(s) Binghamton Senators (AHL)
Wichita Thunder (ECHL)
Team leaders
Goals Mike Hoffman (27)
Assists Erik Karlsson (45)
Points Erik Karlsson (66)
Penalties in minutes Mark Borowiecki (105)
Plus/minus Marc Methot (+22)
Wins Andrew Hammond (20)
Goals against average Andrew Hammond (1.86)

The 2014–15 Ottawa Senators season was the 23rd[1] season for the National Hockey League (NHL) team. After an eventful regular season, the team returned to the NHL playoffs after not qualifying in the 2013–14 NHL season. Since 1996, the team has not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons.

With the team at .500 in early December, general manager Bryan Murray fired head coach Paul MacLean, replacing him with assistant coach Dave Cameron. After being 14 points out of a playoff spot at the start of February, the Senators rallied behind the outstanding play of call-up goaltender Andrew Hammond down the stretch and qualified for the playoffs in the last game of the regular season. For his play, Hammond, nicknamed the "Hamburglar", gained league-wide attention, being named as an NHL Star of the Month and Week. Two rookies had outstanding seasons. Mark Stone who was nominated for the Calder Memorial Trophy, tied for the lead in points among rookies and Mike Hoffman led all rookies in goal scoring. First-year captain Erik Karlsson led the team in scoring with 66 points and was nominated for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's top defenceman.

In the playoffs, the Senators played the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. It was a rematch of the 2013 series which the Senators won. The Senators fell behind 3–0 in the series before rallying back with two wins. However, the comeback fell short and the Senators were eliminated in six games. Hammond started the series but was replaced in the third game by the Senators' number one goalie Craig Anderson, who was outstanding in his return to play.

Before the season, it was learned that Murray had cancer, for which he underwent treatment weekly during the season, although he continued in his duties as general manager. In March 2015, it was learned that assistant coach Mark Reeds also had cancer. Reeds died on the eve of the playoffs, and the team dedicated their play to Reeds. Owner Eugene Melnyk was too ill to attend the playoffs and received a liver transplant in May 2015 after a public appeal for donors.

Off-season[edit]

On May 11, 2014, it was reported that the Senators were looking to trade captain Jason Spezza, who has one year remaining on his current contract, prior to the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.[2] Spezza was traded on July 1 to the Dallas Stars, along with Ludwig Karlsson for Alex Chiasson, Alex Guptill, Nick Paul and a 2015 draft second-round pick. Milan Michalek re-signed with the Senators on the same day, for a three-year extension. On July 4, free agent David Legwand signed with the Senators on a two-year deal. On July 7, the team issued a statement that general manager Bryan Murray had been diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and will undergo treatment immediately. Assistant general managers Pierre Dorion and Randy Lee will manage hockey operations when Murray is undergoing treatment.[3]

On August 18, 2014, TSN and the Ottawa Senators announced that the team's regional games will be broadcast on a new channel launching on August 25, 2014. The new channel is called TSN5. The channel will broadcast 53 games in the regular season plus preseason games.[4]

On August 19, 2014, the Ottawa Senators announced that the team had surpassed over $100 million in community contributions in Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec. The total includes over $59 million in community projects, over $25 million in contributions to charities and minor hockey programs, and more than $21 million in community programs and in-kind donations.[5]

On September 9, 2014, the Ottawa Senators announced a couple of affiliation agreements. The club announced they've extended their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliation with the Binghamton Senators through the 2018–19 season.[6] The Senators also announced a new ECHL affiliation with the Evansville IceMen through the 2015-16 season.[7]

After some speculation about right winger Bobby Ryan's status entering the final year of his contract, on October 2, 2014, the team re-signed Ryan to a seven-year $50.25 million contract extension. At the same press conference announcing Ryan's signing, it was announced that Erik Karlsson was named team captain, the ninth in the current Senators history.

Regular season[edit]

The team began their season October 9 with a three-game road trip beginning in Nashville taking on the Predators. Their home opener took place one week later on October 16 when they hosted the Colorado Avalanche at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators finished the home portion of their schedule on April 7, 2015 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their final regular season game took place in Philadelphia when they defeated the Flyers on April 11.[8]

Former long-time Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson signed a one-game contract with Ottawa so he could announce his retirement as a member of the Senators. He was honoured prior to the match on December 4, 2014, where he participated in the pre-game warmup wearing an Ottawa jersey with the captain's insignia, which current captain Erik Karlsson relinquished for the occasion.[9] Alfredsson would in March, receive the "key to the city" of Ottawa from Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.

Head coach Paul MacLean was fired 27 games into the season.[10] It was 109 games after MacLean won the Jack Adams trophy as NHL Coach of the Year. General Manager Bryan Murray elevated assistant coach Dave Cameron to head coach. According to Murray, there was discord among the players. The team was at .500, and Murray expressed the hope that the team had enough games to make run to the playoffs.

In February, both of the Senators' goalies were injured. Craig Anderson injured his hand in practice and Robin Lehner was concussed in a collision with Clarke MacArthur who also received a concussion. Binghamton starting goalie Andrew "Hamburglar" Hammond was elevated to Ottawa. He won his first five starts (his first starts ever in the NHL) and was named NHL First Star for the week of February 23 – March 1. The Senators won three straight games in California, the first time the franchise had done so. The corresponding win streak elevated the Senators into playoff contention for the final wild-card spot. In March, Anderson returned to the lineup and started two games. After losing to Boston, the team the Senators were chasing, coach Cameron returned to starting Hammond, who continued his streak of holding the opposition to two or fewer goals, and the team being undefeated in regulation time with him starting. Hammond became only the third NHL goalie since 1938 to hold the opposition to two or fewer goals for his first twelve career starts. The team continued its run with Hammond and qualified for the playoffs in the final game of the season. The team had been 14 points out of a playoff spot and was the first team in NHL history to overcome that large of a deficit to qualify for the playoffs.[11][12] They were also the only team not to get shutout in the regular season.

Playoffs[edit]

The Senators qualified for the playoffs after missing them in 2014. It is the fifteenth time in the modern franchise's 23-year history they've gone to the post-season. The Senators finished the regular season on a 23-4-4 run in their final 31 games in order to qualify for the postseason.

Prior to the season, several sports outlets predicted the club would miss the playoffs. According to The Hockey News yearbook, the club's Stanley Cup odds were 95-1, and the club would finish in seventh place in the Atlantic Division. The official NHL 2015 Yearbook predicted the Senators would finish in 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Gambling site Bodog set the expected over/under for points at 78.5. That is 14.5 less points than the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference the prior season.[13]

First round: Ottawa vs. Montreal[edit]

Montreal, which won the Atlantic Division title, had home ice advantage over the Senators, who took the first wild card position. This was a rematch of the 2013 playoff series between the teams won by the Senators. In the 2014–15 regular season series, the Senators won three games of four between the teams.

In game one in Montreal, the Senators started rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond for his first NHL career playoff start. An own goal by Andrei Markov was the only scoring of the first period, giving Ottawa a 1–0 lead after the period. Montreal scored four times in the second period to take a 4–3 lead. Montreal defender P. K. Subban was ejected from the game for a slashing attempt to injure on Mark Stone, who left the game but returned to play though injured. The third period was scoreless and Montreal took a 1–0 series lead. The next day, the Senators announced Stone suffered a microfracture in his wrist due to the slash. In game two, the Senators again took the lead with a goal in the first period by Clarke MacArthur. In the second period, the Canadiens took the lead on goals by Max Pacioretty and Subban. In the third, the Senators forced it to overtime with a power play goal by Patrick Wiercioch. In overtime, Alex Galchenyuk scored to win the game for the Canadiens.

The series moved to Ottawa for game three, and Ottawa switched goaltenders, substituting Craig Anderson for Hammond, and inserted Chris Neil into the lineup. For the third time in the series, the Senators scored first, in the first period, on a goal by MacArthur. The second period was scoreless. In the third period, Dale Weise scored to tie the game and send it to overtime. In the overtime, Weise scored again to put the Canadiens up in the series 3–0. In game four, the game was scoreless until halfway through the third period when Mike Hoffman scored the only goal of the game and the Senators staved off elimination. Anderson stopped 28 Canadiens shots to record his third career playoff shutout. It was the Senators' first playoff shutout of the Canadiens and the first playoff shutout of Montreal by Ottawa since the first Senators shut out the Canadiens in April 1927 en route to a Stanley Cup title.

The Senators faced elimination again in game five in Montreal. Again, Ottawa took the lead in the first, this time with two goals by Bobby Ryan and Patrick Wiercioch. The Senators increased their lead in the second period with a power play goal by Erik Karlsson to lead by 3–0 after two. In the third, Tom Gilbert scored to narrow the gap to 3–1. Erik Condra made a critical takeaway and scored on a breakaway. After some roughing between Anderson and Brandon Prust led to a Senators power play, Mike Hoffman scored in the final minute to make it a 5–1 romp. In the game, Montreal out shot Ottawa 46–25 but was repeatedly stymied by Anderson.

In game six, Montreal scored first for the first time in the series, on a first period fluke goal by Brendan Gallagher and made it stand up to the end, adding an empty net goal with one second left to win the game 2–0 and take the series. It was the first and only time this season that Ottawa was shut out. A second-period goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau was called off by the referee who ruled he had lost sight of the puck. The Senators outshot the Canadiens 43–19 but were stymied by Canadiens' goaltender Carey Price.

Standings[edit]

Divisional standings[edit]

Atlantic Division
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Montreal Canadiens 82 50 22 10 43 221 189 +32 110
2 x – Tampa Bay Lightning 82 50 24 8 47 262 211 +51 108
3 x – Detroit Red Wings 82 43 25 14 39 235 221 +14 100
4 x – Ottawa Senators 82 43 26 13 37 238 215 +23 99
5 Boston Bruins 82 41 27 14 37 213 211 +2 96
6 Florida Panthers 82 38 29 15 30 206 223 −17 91
7 Toronto Maple Leafs 82 30 44 8 25 211 262 −51 68
8 Buffalo Sabres 82 23 51 8 15 161 274 −113 54
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.

Conference standings[edit]

Top 3 (Atlantic Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 y – Montreal Canadiens 82 50 22 10 43 221 189 +32 110
2 x – Tampa Bay Lightning 82 50 24 8 47 262 211 +51 108
3 x – Detroit Red Wings 82 43 25 14 39 235 221 +14 100
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot; y – Clinched division.
Top 3 (Metropolitan Division)
Pos Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 p – New York Rangers 82 53 22 7 49 252 192 +60 113
2 x – Washington Capitals 82 45 26 11 40 242 203 +39 101
3 x – New York Islanders 82 47 28 7 40 252 230 +22 101
Source: National Hockey League
p – Clinched Presidents Trophy; x – Clinched playoff spot.
Eastern Conference Wild Card
Pos Div Team GP W L OTL ROW GF GA GD Pts
1 AT x – Ottawa Senators 82 43 26 13 37 238 215 +23 99
2 ME x – Pittsburgh Penguins 82 43 27 12 39 221 210 +11 98
3 AT Boston Bruins 82 41 27 14 37 213 211 +2 96
4 AT Florida Panthers 82 38 29 15 30 206 223 −17 91
5 ME Columbus Blue Jackets 82 42 35 5 33 236 250 −14 89
6 ME Philadelphia Flyers 82 33 31 18 30 215 234 −19 84
7 ME New Jersey Devils 82 32 36 14 27 181 216 −35 78
8 ME Carolina Hurricanes 82 30 41 11 25 188 226 −38 71
9 AT Toronto Maple Leafs 82 30 44 8 25 211 262 −51 68
10 AT Buffalo Sabres 82 23 51 8 15 161 274 −113 54
Source: National Hockey League
x – Clinched playoff spot.

Schedule and results[edit]

Pre-season[edit]

Regular season[edit]

2014–15 Game Log

Legend:   Win (2 points)   Loss (0 points)   Overtime/shootout loss (1 point)

Playoffs[edit]

2015 Stanley Cup playoffs

Legend:   Win   Loss

Player statistics[edit]

As of April 26, 2015[14]

Scoring
Goaltenders
Regular Season
Player GP GS TOI W L OT GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Anderson , CraigCraig Anderson 35 35 2093 14 13 8 87 2.49 1134 .923 3 0 0 4
Lehner, RobinRobin Lehner 25 24 1471 9 12 3 74 3.02 779 .905 0 0 1 0
Hammond, AndrewAndrew Hammond 24 23 1411 20 1 2 42 1.79 707 .941 3 0 1 0
Driedger, ChrisChris Driedger 1 0 23 0 0 0 0 0.00 10 1.000 0 0 0 0
Playoffs
Player GP GS TOI W L GA GAA SA SV% SO G A PIM
Anderson, CraigCraig Anderson 4 4 247 2 2 4 0.97 142 .972 1 0 0 0
Hammond, AndrewAndrew Hammond 2 2 122 0 2 7 3.44 81 .914 0 0 0 0

Denotes player spent time with another team before joining the Senators. Stats reflect time with the Senators only.
No longer with team.
Bold/italics denotes team leader in that category.

Final roster[edit]

Updated April 14, 2015. Source: Ottawa Senators,[15] TSN,[16] CBS[17]

# Nat Player Pos S/G Age Acquired Birthplace
41 United States Anderson, CraigCraig Anderson G L 33 2011 Park Ridge, Illinois
74 Canada Borowiecki, MarkMark Borowiecki D L 25 2008 Kanata, Ontario
5 Canada Ceci, CodyCody Ceci D R 21 2012 Ottawa, Ontario
90 Canada Chiasson, AlexAlex Chiasson RW R 24 2014 Montreal, Quebec
22 United States Condra, ErikErik Condra RW R 28 2006 Trenton, Michigan
2 Canada Cowen, JaredJared Cowen D L 24 2009 Allan, Saskatchewan
14 Canada Greening, ColinColin Greening LW L 29 2005 St. John's, Newfoundland
62 Canada Gryba, EricEric Gryba D R 27 2006 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
30 Canada Hammond, AndrewAndrew Hammond G L 27 2013 White Rock, British Columbia
68 Canada Hoffman, MikeMike Hoffman LW L 25 2009 Kitchener, Ontario
65 Sweden Karlsson, ErikErik Karlsson (C) D R 24 2008 Landsbro, Sweden
27 Canada Lazar, CurtisCurtis Lazar C R 20 2013 Salmon Arm, British Columbia
17 United States Legwand, DavidDavid Legwand C L 34 2014 Detroit, Michigan
40 Sweden Lehner, RobinRobin Lehner G L 23 2009 Gothenburg, Sweden
16 Canada MacArthur, ClarkeClarke MacArthur LW L 30 2013 Lloydminster, Alberta
3 Canada Methot, MarcMarc Methot D L 29 2012 Ottawa, Ontario
9 Czech Republic Michalek, MilanMilan Michalek LW L 30 2009 Jindřichův Hradec, Czechoslovakia
25 Canada Neil, ChrisChris Neil (A) RW R 35 1998 Flesherton, Ontario
44 Canada Pageau, Jean-GabrielJean-Gabriel Pageau C R 22 2011 Ottawa, Ontario
4 Canada Phillips, ChrisChris Phillips (A) D L 37 1996 Calgary, Alberta
26 Canada Puempel, MatthewMatthew Puempel LW L 22 2011 Windsor, Ontario
6 United States Ryan, BobbyBobby Ryan RW R 28 2013 Cherry Hill, New Jersey
15 Canada Smith, ZackZack Smith C R 27 2008 Maple Creek, Saskatchewan
61 Canada Stone, MarkMark Stone RW R 22 2010 Winnipeg, Manitoba
7 Canada Turris, KyleKyle Turris C R 25 2011 New Westminster, British Columbia
46 Canada Wiercioch, PatrickPatrick Wiercioch D L 24 2008 Maple Ridge, British Columbia
93 Sweden Zibanejad, MikaMika Zibanejad C R 22 2011 Huddinge, Sweden

Awards and honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

Regular Season
Player Award Awarded
Craig Anderson NHL Second Star of the Week[18] November 10, 2014
Ryan, BobbyBobby Ryan NHL All-Star game selection[19] January 10, 2015
Mike Hoffman NHL All-Star game rookie selection[19] January 10, 2015
Karlsson, ErikErik Karlsson NHL Second Star of the Week[20] January 26, 2015
Andrew Hammond NHL First Star of the Week[21] March 2, 2015
Andrew Hammond NHL Third Star of the Week[22] March 16, 2015
Kyle Turris NHL Second Star of the Week[23] March 23, 2015
Andrew Hammond NHL First Star of the Month[24] April 1, 2015
Andrew Hammond NHL First Star of the Week[25] April 6, 2015
Mark Stone NHL Third Star of the Week[26] April 13, 2015

NHL awards[edit]

Trophy Player Status
Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Andrew Hammond Finalist
Calder Memorial Trophy Mark Stone Finalist
James Norris Memorial Trophy Erik Karlsson Winner

Milestones[edit]

Player Milestone Achievement Date
Curtis Lazar 1st NHL game October 9, 2014
Alex Chiasson 1st game as a Senator October 9, 2014
David Legwand 1st game as a Senator October 9, 2014
Alex Chiasson 1st goal as a Senator
1st point as a Senator
October 9, 2014
Mark Borowiecki 1st NHL assist October 9, 2014
Alex Chiasson 1st assist as a Senator October 11, 2014
Curtis Lazar 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
October 16, 2014
David Legwand 1st goal as a Senator
1st point as a Senator
October 16, 2014
Eric Gryba 100th NHL PIM October 16, 2014
Mike Hoffman 1st NHL game-winning goal October 18, 2014
Bobby Ryan 300th NHL PIM October 18, 2014
Zack Smith 400th NHL PIM October 18, 2014
Curtis Lazar 1st NHL PIM October 25, 2014
Eric Gryba 100th NHL game November 1, 2014
Patrick Wiercioch 1st NHL game-winning goal November 4, 2014
Kyle Turris 100th NHL assist November 11, 2014
Mark Borowiecki 100th NHL PIM November 14, 2014
Mike Hoffman 1st NHL overtime-winning goal November 14, 2014
Milan Michalek 400th NHL point November 15, 2014
Alex Chiasson 100th NHL game November 15, 2014
Zack Smith 300th NHL game November 20, 2014
Clarke MacArthur 500th NHL game November 20, 2014
David Legwand 1000th NHL game November 29, 2014
Mika Zibanejad 1st career multi-goal game
1st career 4-point game
December 7, 2014
Curtis Lazar 1st NHL goal December 15, 2014
Bobby Ryan 1st Hat-Trick as a Senator December 29, 2014
Marc Methot 400th NHL game January 8, 2015
Craig Anderson 400th NHL game January 17, 2015
Marc Methot 1st career 3-point game
1st career 3-assist game
January 31, 2015
Jared Cowen 200th NHL game February 3, 2015
Cody Ceci 100th NHL game February 7, 2015
Erik Karlsson 200th NHL assist February 14, 2015
Shane Prince 1st NHL game
1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
February 16, 2015
Andrew Hammond 1st NHL start
1st NHL win
February 18, 2015
Bobby Ryan 500th NHL game February 18, 2015
Matthew Puempel 1st NHL game February 21, 2015
Kyle Turris 200th NHL point February 21, 2015
Andrew Hammond 1st NHL shutout February 25, 2015
David Legwand 600th NHL point March 8, 2015
Matt Puempel 1st NHL goal
1st NHL point
March 10, 2015
Milan Michalek 200th NHL goal March 19, 2015
Andrew Hammond 1st NHL assist
1st NHL point
March 21, 2015
Bobby Ryan 200th NHL assist March 23, 2015
Chris Driedger 1st NHL game March 26, 2015
Erik Karlsson 300th NHL point April 4, 2015
Mark Stone 100th NHL game April 5, 2015
Mika Zibanejad 100th NHL point April 7, 2015
Mika Zibanejad 200th NHL game April 11, 2015
Andrew Hammond 1st NHL playoff game
1st NHL playoff start
April 15, 2015
Mark Borowiecki 1st NHL playoff game April 15, 2015
Cody Ceci 1st NHL playoff game April 15, 2015
Mike Hoffman 1st NHL playoff game April 15, 2015
Curtis Lazar 1st NHL playoff game April 15, 2015
Patrick Wiercioch 1st NHL playoff assist
1st NHL playoff point
April 15, 2015
Cody Ceci 1st NHL playoff assist
1st NHL playoff point
April 17, 2015
Patrick Wiercioch 1st NHL playoff goal April 17, 2015
Mike Hoffman 1st NHL playoff goal
1st NHL playoff point
April 22, 2015
Coach Milestone Achievement Date
Dave Cameron 1st game as an NHL head coach December 11, 2014
Dave Cameron 1st win as an NHL head coach December 13, 2014
Dave Cameron 1st playoff game as an NHL head coach April 15, 2015
Dave Cameron 1st playoff win as an NHL head coach April 22, 2015
Team Milestone Achievement Date
Ottawa Senators 700th regulation loss October 9, 2014
Ottawa Senators 5000th goal against January 17, 2015

Records[edit]

Player Record Achievement Date
Chris Phillips 1,179th career games played for the Ottawa Senators February 5, 2015
Mark Stone Nine consecutive games of at least one point
(Franchise rookie record)
April 11, 2015

Transactions[edit]