Senators players, fans look forward to new season after successful 2021 campaign
OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators wrapped up their season on a positive note, beating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3.
While there will be no playoff run, the future is bright for the young team whose season has been anything but normal.
It was rookie Josh Norris who ended the Ottawa Senators season with an overtime winning goal and says the team had an attitude going into every game that they could win.
"I really thought the last 20, 25 games that we had that attitude and to me at least it felt like we could win any game," says Norris.
It was a rocky start for the young team rebuilding their roster. But TSN1200 Ottawa Senators colour commentator Gord Wilson says the second half of the season has been a wonderful run.
"Through the first 15 games they were 2-12-1," says Wilson. "The second half started and they started to play much, much better and the record would indicate that they would be in a playoff discussion if there was more of a runway to this 56 game season. They started to just believe in themselves."
Playing with more confidence. The young teammates bonded. Forward Nick Paul says they would boost each other up.
"We were a great team at the end of it," says Paul. "We’re just happy we got it clicking and we're ready for next year."
Fans are ready too. Nine-year-old Cooper Leppard has grown up as a Sens fan. He and his brother, six-year-old Emmett, play hockey nearly every day. The family are season ticket holders.
While stadiums are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the television would be on for every game. Cooper says favourite player is Brady Tkachuk, and he enjoys watching him score, stick out his tongue and shimmy after a goal.
The season may have ended, but the excitement for fans and players continues to build. Ottawa Senator Brady Tkachuk says they are ready as a team to win next year.
"I think the way that we were playing I think we were pretty darn close," says Tkachuk. "And I think that’s what everybody wants next year, to have the fans back and get that atmosphere back and that playoff atmosphere back."