by Todd Anderson
Tremendous success early last season kick-started a record goal total for the Ottawa Senators. Taking advantage of new rules implemented by the NHL, Ottawa was the most dynamic squad offensively and provided fans with many highlight-reel tallies.
The Senators' total of 312 goals in 2005-06 was 11 more than the second-place Detroit Red Wings and 26 more than the third-place Carolina Hurricanes. The Sens' previous best was 274 goals recorded during the 2000-01 season.
The Senators were also lethal during special teams.
Ottawa had a clear lead in the NHL with 25 short-handed goals. Philadelphia was second with 19. The Senators' previous high in goals scored while killing penalties was 11 in 2001-02.
While the Senators were second in power-play goals with 102 - the Toronto Maple Leafs had 107-their 2005-06 total was significantly higher than the previous mark of 83 set in 2002-03.
For the first time in team-history the Senators boasted 14 10-goal scorers. Three other times previously, the Senators had 11 players to finish a season with 10 or more goals. The club also tied the team record for 20-goal scorers in a season with six. That number was previously reached during the 2002-03 season.
While team numbers were impressive, individual records were also set.
No one was hotter than Dany Heatley, who became the first Senator to score 50 goals in a season. No. 50 for Heatley was the last goal of the regular season for Ottawa and came midway through the third period of a 5-1 victory over the Rangers in New York on April 18. Other players to set personal highs in goals were Daniel Alfredsson (43), Mike Fisher (22), Antoine Vermette (21), Peter Schaefer (20), Patrick Eaves (20), Chris Neil (16), Andrej Meszaros (10), Chris Kelly (10), Brian Pothier (5), Anton Volchenkov (4), Christoph Schubert (4) and Brian McGrattan (2).
The following is a list of 20 of the more memorable goals from 2005-06. Click on the listings to view video of the goals, courtesy of NHL.com
Martin Havlat dekes Buffalo Sabre Ryan Miller while short-handed during a 5-0 Senators win on Oct. 8, 2005.
Jason Spezza fakes a slapshot and feeds Daniel Alfredsson during a 6-5 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 10, 2005.
Chris Neil takes a rest on the Boston Bruins' goal after a nice setup from Daniel Alfredsson in a 5-1 win on Oct. 15, 2005.
Peter Schaefer makes a nice move on Tampa Bay's John Grahame during a 4-1 win on Oct. 21, 2005.
Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley show off the Tic-Tac-Toe play during a 4-3 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 27, 2005.
Jason Spezza dekes Montreal Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray and then goaltender José Théodore in a 4-3 overtime win on Oct. 27, 2005, for one of the nicest goals in the NHL last season.
Dany Heatley caps off a four-goal game during an 8-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 29, 2005.
Chris Neil hands off a perfect cross-ice pass to Bryan Smolinski during a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Nov. 17, 2005.
Mike Fisher finishes off with a nice deke against Ed Belfour and the Toronto Maple Leafs during an 8-2 Ottawa victory on Dec. 17, 2005.
Jason Spezza dangles with the puck before setting up Dany Heatley's one-timer during a 7-0 Senators victory on Jan. 21, 2006.
Wade Redden finishes off a nice pass from Dany Heatley in a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 23, 2006.
A persistent Daniel Alfredsson outraces former Pittsburgh Penguin Mark Recchi for the puck and scores short-handed during a 7-2 win on Feb. 2, 2006.
Chris Neil, Peter Schaefer and Bryan Smolinski connect in a perfect breakout play during a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on March 18, 2006.
Antoine Vermette scores one of his six short-handed goals of the season in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on March 21, 2006.
Christoph Schubert intercepts a pass in his own zone, then races down the ice and shows off his powerful slapshot during a 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres on April 5, 2006.
Zdeno Chara catches the Boston Bruins off guard with his stickhandling ability and scores the overtime game-winner during a 4-3 victory on April 11, 2006.
Mike Fisher splits the Florida Panthers defence and beats netminder Roberto Luongo with a nice solo effort during a 5-4 overtime loss on April 13, 2006.
Mike Fisher makes some nice moves to score short-handed during a 5-1 win over the New York Rangers on April 18, 2006.
Dany Heatley registers No. 50 for the season in typical fashion - off a one-timer - during a 5-1 victory over the New York Rangers on April 18, 2006.
Martin Havlat opens the scoring for Ottawa in the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs as the Senators defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 on April 21, 2006.