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**2013-14 Senators Season Preview**

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09-25-2013, 05:51 PM
  #1
connor macdavid
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**2013-14 Senators Season Preview**

(I wrote this from a neutral standpoint)
-------------------------------------------------

Last season, the Ottawa Senators exceeded many people's expectations and played some post-season hockey. This season head coach Paul Maclean and co. will be looking to build off of what was a decidedly positive (and shortened) campaign which featured many breakout seasons and some exceptional goaltending. Without further ado, allow me to recap the Sens' offseason moves, as well as set the stage at each position for what promises to be a very intriguing 2013-14 season for the Sens!

Summer Moves

Out
D Sergei Gonchar - Dallas (Conditional Late-Rd Pick)
F Daniel Alfredsson - Detroit (Free Agency)
F Jakob Silfverberg - Anaheim (Trade)
F Stefan Noesen - Anaheim (Trade)

In
F Bobby Ryan - Anaheim (Free Agency)

Free Agent Signings
F Clarke MacArthur (TOR) ($3.25M per, 2 years)
D Joe Corvo (CAR) ($900K, 1 year)

All in all, a busy summer! Now- a breakdown of each position:

Goaltenders
After a fantastic season in 2013 which saw Craig Anderson post career-highs in GAA (1.69) and SV% (.941), there is no doubt that the net is his, and will remain his unless he's knocked out of the lineup by injury. The Park Ridge, Illinois native had a stand-out season last year, with some pundits claiming he was the sole reason the offensively-challenged Senators even played post-season hockey.

Robin Lehner looks poised to have a solid season as backup, and he appears to be in a similar position as another Swedish goalie- Vancouver's Eddie Lack, who many think is good enough to be a full-time netminder in the NHL. In the final year of his contract, Lehner is an RFA come the end of 2013-14, and the Sens will have to decide whether Lehner or Anderson is the goalie of their future.

Nathan Lawson and Andrew Hammond have both looked serviceable should one of the two main goaltenders go down with an injury over the course of the season.


Craig Anderson probably can't sustain his numbers from last year over an 82-game season, but he's still likely to be a Vezina candidate once again when it's all said and done. Lehner is a very capable backup.
Goaltending: A



Defense
Erik Karlsson is a Norris-calibre defenseman at age 23. Well at least, he was. With Karlsson complaining about a lack of footspeed in training camp, it remains to be seen whether he will fully recover from last year's ankle injury. Did the Sens rush him back too fast and curtail his recovery? If they did, it'll be a shame. Regardless of his footspeed, Karlsson will be a top two defenseman on this team, and looked to for leadership despite his age. Should lead the defense in points, could potentially lead the team in assists.

Jared Cowen should be his partner on the top pair, and will be looked to as a disciplined, strong defensive buoy. He will definitely be logging a lot of minutes, especially on the penalty kill.

Marc Methot is coming off of one of the better seasons of his career, and will be looking to cement his reputation as a dependable top four defenseman.

Chris Phillips is getting a little long in the tooth, and any speed he once had is pretty much gone. I believe that he might be seeing some third pair time before the end of the season, though head coach Paul MacLean wouldn't dare sit the veteran.

Patrick Wiercioch, Eric Gryba, and Joe Corvo will all bounce in and out of the lineup, although Wiercioch made a very solid case as a top four defenseman in an increased role last season. Joe Corvo is a serviceable NHL journeyman, but nothing more than that at age 36.
We could see the likes of Mark Borowiecki, Ben Blood, and Cody Ceci before the end of the year, depending on injuries.


This defensive corps is, unfortunately, quite slow. This is probably going to mean even more shots allowed than last season, and will also lead to more own-zone penalties (ahem Chris Phillips). If Karlsson fails to return to 100%, then the onus falls on Methot, Wiercioch, and co. to pick up the slack offensively.
DEFENSE: C+



Forwards
The top six forwards look like they will be able to put up some production, however after that the pickings are quite slim. There really is no secondary scoring to speak of on the Senators, and that is probably what will eventually limit them again this season.

Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan will obviously be centered by newly-minted captain Jason Spezza on a top line that should put up roughly 55-70 points per-player if they all stay healthy (very unlikely).

Kyle Turris, if he continues his torrid pace from last season, could turn into one of the best 2nd-line centers in the NHL. However, he won't have a heck of a lot of offensive help, as he'll be flanked by wingers such as Clarke MacArthur, Chris Neil, and potentially Erik Condra, not a true top-six forward amongst them.

Two other players in the forward corps to keep an eye on after interesting debuts last year would be Corey Conacher and J.G. Pageau. Stephane Da Costa will be an NHLer this year, it just remains to be seen whether or not it will be with the Sens.


There is without a doubt some talent up front, especially on the top line. However, the pickings are very slim on the bottom six, and with little in the way of offensive talent in the system, a few injuries could leave the offense extremely weak.

FORWARDS- C



Special Teams
In theory, the PP should be better this year with the acquisition of Bobby Ryan. However, it should also be noted he didn't exactly light the lamp last season- he only scored one more goal than Jakob Silfverberg. If Karlsson truly isn't 100%, then the PP will automatically suffer. If Spezza goes down with an injury, then MacLean's PP unit is in trouble big-time.

The penalty kill was the best in the league last season, and with no personnel changes on the PK there is no reason why the Sens' PK can't be amongst the best in the league again.

SPECIAL TEAMS - B+

Overall, the Senators are looking on the up-and-up. However, their lack of secondary scoring means that their season could potentially be over with any long-term injury to a number of key offensive players.

The loss of Alfie hurts more in spirit than it does on the ice- the Sens are a better team this year than last year. Expectations can't be too high though, as last year's team we can all agree over-achieved.

The Senators will make a push for that 3rd-place in the division, but I wouldn't be surprised if they find themselves in the bottom two Wildcard playoff spots.

UN-BOLD PREDICTION: Pageau has been over-hyped, never becomes more than third-liner.
PREDICTION: 6th-9th in the Eastern Conference.
BOLD PREDICTION: Stephane Da Costa will put up 30+ points wherever he plays.

Thanks for reading, love to hear feedback

GO SENS GO

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Old
09-25-2013, 05:55 PM
  #2
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Forwards C lol

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09-25-2013, 05:57 PM
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Artanis
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Neil won't be on the 2nd line. What about Zibby?
Methot plays with EK, not Cowen.
Are you a sens fan?..

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09-25-2013, 05:59 PM
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The Cake Is A Lie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
Neil won't be on the 2nd line. What about Zibby?
Methot plays with EK, not Cowen.
Are you a sens fan?..
He is not according to his profile (his profile says he is a hawks fan). So take his opinions with a grain of salt.

In fact, you can tell that he has no idea what he is talking about being that he gave our forwards a c.

Our forwards are a b at most.


Last edited by The Cake Is A Lie: 09-25-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old
09-25-2013, 06:00 PM
  #5
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Our bottom 6 are awesome. Condra, Greening, Smith, Neil are strong role players that a good team needs to win.

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09-25-2013, 06:01 PM
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"Erik Karlsson is a Norris-calibre defenseman at age 23. Well at least, he was. With Karlsson complaining about a lack of footspeed in training camp, it remains to be seen whether he will fully recover from last year's ankle injury."

-----------------------

I must have missed the bolded. When did this happen? I only heard him complain that it felt different from the nerve damage, which would be fully expected.

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09-25-2013, 06:03 PM
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Artanis
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I must have missed the bolded. When did this happen? I only heard him complain that it felt different from the nerve damage, which would be fully expected.
I'm pretty sure that's what he did in fact say.

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Old
09-25-2013, 06:09 PM
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No mention of Zibanejad? I find it cool and all that we get outside feedback and all but I found it too negative. Also, lineups seem off and sounds like all our players are already injured.

Thanks for sharing though.

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09-25-2013, 06:20 PM
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Haha, Ben Blood...

Nope.

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09-25-2013, 06:25 PM
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connor macdavid
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Zibanejad is a good player, could hop into the Top Six. But definitely not a stand-out top six. IMHO he's too slow.

Sens had the least goals scored of any playoff team last season. If that trend continues (and with the same players logic says it will), then it will fall again onto the padded shoulders of Craig Anderson to keep this team in the playoffs.

@H2O The bottom six of a championship team produces. While Neil, Smith, Condra, and co. are great heart-and-soul players, you can only have so many clunkers on one team. I think giving guys like Da Costa, Stone chances could add some secondary scoring.

Thanks for the feedback though, especially "SensBruins4Ever"

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09-25-2013, 06:32 PM
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connor macdavid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
Neil won't be on the 2nd line. What about Zibby?
Methot plays with EK, not Cowen.
Are you a sens fan?..
I said Cowen *should* play with Karlsson on the top line. I think over the course of this season he'll develop into a better Dman than Methot, who's reached his max potential.

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09-25-2013, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
Zibanejad is a good player, could hop into the Top Six. But definitely not a stand-out top six. IMHO he's too slow.

Sens had the least goals scored of any playoff team last season. If that trend continues (and with the same players logic says it will), then it will fall again onto the padded shoulders of Craig Anderson to keep this team in the playoffs.

@H2O The bottom six of a championship team produces. While Neil, Smith, Condra, and co. are great heart-and-soul players, you can only have so many clunkers on one team. I think giving guys like Da Costa, Stone chances could add some secondary scoring.

Thanks for the feedback though, especially "SensBruins4Ever"
I agree that if Karlsson, Spezza and Michalek are all injured for most of the season, then the trend will continue.

Two years ago, with the same core players, the Sens were 4th in NHL scoring.

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09-25-2013, 06:36 PM
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How very negative.

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09-25-2013, 06:36 PM
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HavlatMach9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
(I wrote this from a neutral standpoint)
Before I read this, I should mention that the neutral standpoint can be an ignorant standpoint when speaking to people/fans who are most knowledgeable about their own players, so good luck!

Quote:
Last season, the Ottawa Senators exceeded many people's expectations and played some post-season hockey.
This isn't wrong, but it's incomplete. They exceeded expectations in the face of injuries to a number of core players.

Quote:
Lehner is an RFA come the end of 2013-14, and the Sens will have to decide whether Lehner or Anderson is the goalie of their future.
As we have Anderson signed for another year after, that decision doesn't have to be made at the end of the 13-14 season.

Agreed with our goalies being a strength.

Quote:
Erik Karlsson is a Norris-calibre defenseman at age 23. Well at least, he was. With Karlsson complaining about a lack of footspeed in training camp, it remains to be seen whether he will fully recover from last year's ankle injury. Did the Sens rush him back too fast and curtail his recovery? If they did, it'll be a shame.
He's complained about a lack of connection at his foot, I don't recall he ever said he lacks footspeed. Even if true, it won't stop him from being a Norris calibre player, but it may stop him from being a dominant player that he showed at the start of the past season.

Quote:
Regardless of his footspeed, Karlsson will be a top two defenseman on this team, and looked to for leadership despite his age. Should lead the defense in points, could potentially lead the team in assists.
Top 2 on the Sens? You should know that throughout most games that he's played in since his injury, he's gotten the most ice-time. He's the #1 on this team.

Quote:
Jared Cowen should be his partner on the top pair
Not going to reply to this as this one is wrong and other will have said why.

Quote:
Marc Methot is coming off of one of the better seasons of his career, and will be looking to cement his reputation as a dependable top four defenseman.
He was invited to Team Canada's camp. He's already cemented himself has a top 4 dman.

Quote:
Chris Phillips is getting a little long in the tooth, and any speed he once had is pretty much gone. I believe that he might be seeing some third pair time before the end of the season, though head coach Paul MacLean wouldn't dare sit the veteran.
How in the world do you know what MacLean would or wouldn't do?

Quote:

This defensive corps is, unfortunately, quite slow. This is probably going to mean even more shots allowed than last season, and will also lead to more own-zone penalties (ahem Chris Phillips). If Karlsson fails to return to 100%, then the onus falls on Methot, Wiercioch, and co. to pick up the slack offensively.
DEFENSE: C+
Ek/Cowen/Methot are some of the fastest dmen around. It's anything but slow. The core of Ek/Cowen/Methot with sprinkled Wiercioch/Gryba/Phillips aren't a C+. Last year, our defense had or almost had league leading stats while missing EK (Gonchar's presence negates this comparing this and last season) and Cowen. Our defense is one Cowen better and it was a great defense.

Quote:
Forwards
The top six forwards look like they will be able to put up some production, however after that the pickings are quite slim. There really is no secondary scoring to speak of on the Senators, and that is probably what will eventually limit them again this season.
No secondary scoring? Top line has renowned players, our 2nd line is anchored by Turris but his wingers are relatively weak, but the rest of the forwards are more than appealing with the likes of Zibanejad, Conacher, JPG to mention a few.

Quote:
Milan Michalek and Bobby Ryan will obviously be centered by newly-minted captain Jason Spezza on a top line that should put up roughly 55-70 points per-player if they all stay healthy (very unlikely).
Very unlikely? They stayed healthy the season before, there's more than a reasonable chance they stay healthy. 55-70 is a massive range, but the Sens top line is up to snuff when compared to any team.
Quote:
FORWARDS- C
[/U][/I][/B]
Am I crazy or did I see zero mentions of Zibanejad? Our Jack Adams coach has loved this guy from day 1, and he's come a VERY LONG way since then. You should also know this team was 4th in scoring in the last full season having similar players.

Quote:
If Karlsson truly isn't 100%, then the PP will automatically suffer. If Spezza goes down with an injury, then MacLean's PP unit is in trouble big-time.
No mention of Wiercioch regarding the PP? Karlsson has produced like Erik Karlsson even after his injury. You might be mistaken about Karlsson and how he is at this point.

Quote:
The penalty kill was the best in the league last season, and with no personnel changes on the PK there is no reason why the Sens' PK can't be amongst the best in the league again.
Well funnily enough this one is something I might also disagree with since it praises the Sens, but you may be right with our goalies and Methot/Cowen/Phillips as options for the penalty kill.

Quote:
The loss of Alfie hurts more in spirit than it does on the ice- the Sens are a better team this year than last year. Expectations can't be too high though, as last year's team we can all agree over-achieved.
Over-achieved because of injuries. This team had high expectations in the past season after taking the 1st seeded NYR to 7 games.

Quote:
GO SENS GO
Indeed.


Last edited by HavlatMach9: 09-25-2013 at 06:43 PM.
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Old
09-25-2013, 06:37 PM
  #15
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Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
UN-BOLD PREDICTION: Pageau has been over-hyped, never becomes more than third-liner.


get out

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09-25-2013, 06:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
Zibanejad is a good player, could hop into the Top Six. But definitely not a stand-out top six. IMHO he's too slow.

Sens had the least goals scored of any playoff team last season. If that trend continues (and with the same players logic says it will), then it will fall again onto the padded shoulders of Craig Anderson to keep this team in the playoffs.

@H2O The bottom six of a championship team produces. While Neil, Smith, Condra, and co. are great heart-and-soul players, you can only have so many clunkers on one team. I think giving guys like Da Costa, Stone chances could add some secondary scoring.

Thanks for the feedback though, especially "SensBruins4Ever"
Dude do you realize all our best point producers were injured last season? Logic doesn't say that the "trend" (which 48 games does not make BTW), it says that those numbers will skyrocket towards the top of the league like two seasons ago especially considering the addition of Ryan instead of Alfie.

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09-25-2013, 06:44 PM
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Jeezus, if were getting C's on forward and defence, you'd have to have a team with Gretzky and Orr to get A's I guess.

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09-25-2013, 06:49 PM
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Pittsburgh is thin after Crosby, Malkin and Neal. The pickings are very slim in the bottom six. Grade: C

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09-25-2013, 06:56 PM
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connor macdavid
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@newerabegins The Pens had Chris Kunitz put up 22 goals, Pascal Dupuis put up 20 goals, Sutter had 11. Those would've been first and third on the Sens, respectively. Even beloved Matt Cooke had more goals than Mika Zibanejad.

Appreciate the feedback though guys

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09-25-2013, 06:59 PM
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Did you read my post before that or did you conveniently ignore it

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09-25-2013, 07:06 PM
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The important part is that you tried.

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09-25-2013, 07:20 PM
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connor macdavid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newerabegins View Post
Did you read my post before that or did you conveniently ignore it
I'm just saying, outside of their big three the Penguins have more offensive depth than the Sens. You can't deny that. So do Boston, Detroit, and a host of other teams in a tough Eastern Conference.

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09-25-2013, 07:26 PM
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HavlatMach9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
I'm just saying, outside of their big three the Penguins have more offensive depth than the Sens. You can't deny that. So do Boston, Detroit, and a host of other teams in a tough Eastern Conference.
Unless you break down players comparison, this is all meaningless. Shortened season and injuries to our team makes evaluating the team last year a futile exercise.

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09-26-2013, 12:08 PM
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Well, IMO most of it is wrong.

And Bobby Ryan (free agency) ???

Quote:
Kyle Turris, if he continues his torrid pace from last season, could turn into one of the best 2nd-line centers in the NHL. However, he won't have a heck of a lot of offensive help, he'll be flanked as by wingers such as Clarke MacArthur, Chris Neil, and potentially Erik Condra, not a true top-six forward amongst them.
lol

If our first line is Spezza/Ryan/Michalek (potentially and should be top-5 in the NHL), try Zibanejad, Conacher, MacArthur, Pageau, Da Costa, Petersson and even Stone.

I can't remember the last time our offense was this deep and we had so many options

If you're basing yourself on last season when every offensive key player was injured except Turris and Alfredsson and the line-up was full of rookies and sophomores, this is probably why you are mistaken on the subject

I could probably do this for defense (exemple, defense is far from "quite slow") and the rest of the post, but not really that interested

Thanks for the try though, appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonsOnIce96 View Post
Zibanejad is a good player, could hop into the Top Six. But definitely not a stand-out top six. IMHO he's too slow.
wow, lost the remaining of Sens credibility you had.


Last edited by Xspyrit: 09-26-2013 at 12:14 PM.
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09-26-2013, 12:12 PM
  #25
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Nice write-up! Can't wait for the season to start.

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