The Ottawa Senators were the best team in the NHL from Feb. 10 through the end of the season. It stands to reason they can continue to be the best in the NHL until the middle of June.
Every team wants to be playing its best hockey going into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Senators certainly can say they are.
Ottawa went 23-4-4 in their final 31 games to climb from 14 points out entering their game against the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 10 to make their way into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Ottawa went on its run because it got surprisingly elite goaltending from Andrew Hammond and used the confidence gained from that to play fast and aggressive in all three zones, particularly through the middle of the ice.
In doing so, the Senators got some luck on their side and turned a bad trend of losing one-goal games into a positive trend by winning them. They were 10-12-9 in one-goal games through Feb. 8; they went 11-0-4 in one-goal games from Feb. 10 through the end of the season, including 7-4 in games extended past regulation.
There are four big reasons the Senators went on their big run, and why they have it in them to take this the distance in the spring.