The Hockey News - - The First Word -

The Ot­tawa Se­na­tors made an in­cred­i­ble run through the Eastern Con­fer­ence play­off bracket, fall­ing just one goal short of mak­ing the Stan­ley Cup fi­nal. The first in­di­ca­tion that some­thing special might be go­ing on? Cap­tain Erik Karls­son’s amaz­ing pass to Mike Hoff­man for a key goal in Game 3 of the Sens’ first-round series against Bos­ton. Stretch­ing from Ot­tawa’s goal line to Bos­ton’s blue­line, the pass caught Hoff­man per­fectly in stride and was so good it in­spired sci­en­tific break­downs of its tra­jec­tory.

Karls­son, who re­vealed dur­ing the play­offs that he had two hair­line frac­tures in his foot, some­how con­tin­ued to play elite hockey for the du­ra­tion of the post-sea­son. His 18 points led NHL blue­lin­ers, and he av­er­aged more than 28 min­utes of ice time per game. This was re­ally just the cap­per to a sea­son that saw the slick-skat­ing Swede put a hold on the Nor­ris Tro­phy and con­firm that he was in the con­ver­sa­tion as one of the best players in the world right now. But Karls­son wasn’t the only big story in Ot­tawa. Goal­tender Craig An­der­son pushed through the trauma of his wife’s can­cer di­ag­no­sis, while left winger Clarke MacArthur knocked out the Bru­ins with an over­time dag­ger in Game 6. MacArthur had missed al­most all of the past two sea­sons with con­cus­sions be­fore play­ing the hero in that play­off game.

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