their jerseys caught my eye, and when the Daniel Alfredsson era began (and the Alexei Yashin era ended), I kept an interested eye on them. And, since then, the Sens have pretty much always consistently gone further in the playoffs than my hometown Habs, and I've found myself rooting for them more often than not.
Jason Spezza remains, in my mind, one of the premier passers in the league, Alfie is a great captain (second to maybe only Jarome Iginla), and they always seem to turn out having great talent on defense.
More often than not, goaltending has been blamed for their lack of playoff success (i.e. that elusive Stanley Cup), but from Peter Sidorkiewicz getting All Star nods to Ron Tugnutt to Patrick Lalime, goalies have always done what was expected of them for this team. And while Pascal Leclaire's streak of bad luck only got worse in Ottawa, he didn't fare badly at all and, this season, Craig Anderson has done an admirable job - and so has Ben Bishop in a relief role.
And one person to thank for the Sens' recent rise in goaltending prowess is undoubtedly goalie coach Rick Wamsley, a former Cup and Jennings winner himself, who had previously signed these two cards for me, almost 2 years ago.
Now, I was hoping the Sens would send the New York Rangers packing tonight, but it looks like there'll be a Game 7 in that series...
But back to Wamsley. I wrote him a new fan letter to go along with these 3 cards I sent him on February 24, 2012 and got them all back today, April 23rd, 2012. They show him wearing the colours of his first two NHL teams, firstly with the Montréal Canadiens:
The card on the left is from Topps' 1982-83 O-Pee-Chee set (card #195), coming off his Jennings-worth season; the card on the right, featuring a helmet-less low-resolution picture of Wamsley sporting the back-up's ''towel around the neck'' classic attire (in the 80s), is from In The Game's 2010-11 Between The Pipes set (card #145, the Greats Of The Game sub-set).
And this card, showing him with the beautiful 80s-era St. Louis Blues uniform:
This is card #240 of Topps' 1986-87 O-Pee-Chee set, a beautiful and classic one, showing Wamsley skating around during a pre-game warmup against the New Jersey Devils.