“The boring Ottawa Senators lead 4-0 in the first period,” wrote whoever runs the Sens’ Twitter account.
The tweet was a big middle finger to all the media and fans who’d been deriding the Sens and their trapping ways. Ottawa was piling up the goals on the Pittsburgh Penguins in Wednesday’s Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final, and the atmosphere at Canadian Tire Centre was far from dull.
This morning, the Sens were asked about the “boring” label that’s been attached to their style of play. What did they think of it? Did it bother them? Was it accurate?
Some, like defenseman Chris Wideman, pushed back at the label.
“Last night we scored five goals, and hopefully we put the boring Senators thing to rest, and we can move on from that,” said Wideman.
But others, like forward Bobby Ryan, saw it differently.
“I think people will still continue to think we’re the boring old team,” said Ryan. “We do, we clog the neutral zone. We make it hard for you to come through. It works for us, so we’re sticking with it.”
Head coach Guy Boucher is the architect of the 1-3-1 trap. He was hired a year ago after the Sens missed the playoffs with a 2.94 goals-against average, the fifth highest in the NHL. Ottawa’s GAA dropped to 2.56 in 2016-17, and now the Sens are two wins from an unlikely berth in the Stanley Cup Final.
As such, Boucher’s not particularly interested in what others have to say about his team and the way it plays.
“I think there’s 7.5 billion people on the planet, so there’s 7.5 billion opinions on everything,” he said. “So I’m certainly not going to sit here and try to decipher which opinions I agree with and which I don’t.
“I think the only thing that matters really is our players, what we’ve done. We’ve been in a bubble all year long in that respect, in terms of what we wanted to do, what we wanted to be, and what our identity should look like. We’ve grown steadily in that respect, and we keep it this way. So everything else, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I’m not interested in it either.”
Game 4 of the series goes tomorrow in Kanata. The Sens lead the Pens, 2-1.