I have something to confess. Coming into this year, I really felt that the best thing for my Sens this year was to finish as low as possible, given how deep this draft is, and that we'd be ready to push for the playoffs starting next season. I have now seen that this team is ready for the playoffs right now. So, as of right now, I'm fully on board.
I think the best part of all this for me is that no matter what happens re: the playoffs, whenever Alfie decides to retire, he can do so comfortable in the knowledge that we are headed in the right direction.
Ottawa is in a fantastic position and I believe they are playoff bound. They clearly are not tanking like Pitt did to pick up Crosby or Caps to pick up Ovie. Ottawa was expected to finish low in the standings and PM has frequently said Ottawa is in a rebuild process and they're doing it the right way - about 5 years away from stability/competitiveness. I think Ottawa is 1 year away.
Not only is Ottawa doing fantastic w/ their youthful roster, but look how deep they are in prospects: Silfverberg, ZJ, DaCosta, JOB, Petersson, Hoffman, Stone, Caporusso, Prince, Cannone, DD...and that's just the forwards. This team is stacked!
I don't expect Murray to move any of these guys this deadline, but I think Ottawa will be even better next season and with Alfie in (what I assume) will be his last season I think Murray is going to take a shot and unload some of these guys for cup-contending roster additions next season or at the deadline. There simply isn't any room for all these promising players to play in Ottawa and Murray will do the right thing and give some of them a chance to play elsewhere when they are packaged for a big name deal.
I'm not saying ALL of these prospects, but maybe 1/3rd to half by next deadline in order to have a contending roster. I guarantee he has plans for what that roster would be, how he's going to assemble it, and contingency plans if those players are taken or don't become available. He's already struck with the Turris deal.
I was very excited at the season start, and I got depressed and down on the team like everyone else as they'd lose a few games, but I think at the very least they'll finish 8th and have a solid playoff run on which to build. I think Murray has sufficiently stocked Bingo and Elmira and I'm very happy with what I've seen so far.
Look at the defence we have in the wings - Gryba, Schira, Weirdcock, and Borocop - what an upgrade they'll be over Phillips, Gonchar, Kuba and Carkner. I love Phillips and I respect Carkners work to get an NHL contract, Kuba has been playing lights out, but they're probably gone very soon and I'm very happy about the replacements coming in.
For this team to even make the playoffs, we are still an underdog. This team is still learning, has holes, is coming together.
And yet ... there is something about this team, something different, you can feel it.
Do you Believe? Do you believe that Senderella is trying on the slippers?
Ive been behind this team since the offseason. Didnt buy into the "expert" predictions at all, but even I am surprised...not by where they are, but by the feeling you describe.
This team is something special. If they make it, they can really make some noise. Like every run, it will require some things falling into place, but I think this team has as good a shot at making a cup run as any Sens team has. They have a fire in them I have never seen before.