The 2012 Los Angeles Kings proved that all a team needs to do is get to the Stanley Cup Playoffs; from there, anything can happen. Los Angeles caught fire after the 2012 Trade Deadline, sneaking into the postseason as the No. 8 seed, and then eventually winning the 2012 Stanley Cup.
The Ottawa Senators have followed that blueprint to the letter so far.
On Feb. 10, the Senators were 14 points out of a playoff spot. Five teams stood in the way of a postseason berth.
Playoff hockey is all about "what have you done for me lately?" and of late, the Senators have been the hottest team in hockey. Ottawa is 23-4-4 since Feb. 10, and 32-16-7 since coach Dave Cameron took over on Dec. 11. Th Senators, the one led recently by a first-year goaltender and timely goal-scoring, now have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Here are five reasons the Senators clinched a playoff berth: