Early Predictions for Ottawa’s 2011-12 Season, Part Two

Continuing my look at early season predictions for the Senators (part one is here, early-predictions-for-ottawas-2011-12-season).  To briefly recap that article:

The Hockey News predicts Ottawa will finish 15th in the East
The Ottawa Sun (Jeff Frank) suggets the team needs major rebound from its veterans to avoid being 15th in the East
-Sportsnet’s Mike Brophy (senators-news-wednesday-edition) isn’t definitive, but suggests Ottawa is in the running for the 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft
Senators Extra predicts Ottawa will finish 15th in the East
The Bleacher Report (Daniel Friedman) predicts Ottawa will finish 15th in the East
Senshot (Jared Crozier) provides a range where Ottawa will finish, but 9th seems most likely using his analysis

There are two more predictions to comment on:

The Hockey Writers have their Eastern Conference predictions up and, like virtually everyone else, see the Senators in last place (thehockeywriters.com/20112012-nhl-season-predictions-eastern-conference).  Brandon Schlager, who wrote the article, says the following, “What can we say about the Ottawa Senators? It seems like yesterday the good ol’ Sens were among the NHL’s elite, vying for a Stanley Cup year after year. But it turns out this year’s club couldn’t be any further away than the ones that featured that incredible first line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson and came oh so close to hoisting the cup in 2007. Sure, the latter two still suit up in red and black, but Alfredsson is nowhere near the player he once was and Spezza simply can’t do it all by himself.  There is no doubt this team is in the midst of a full-fledged rebuilding process, and we’ll see that at it’s worst (or finest, depending on your viewpoint) this season. Spezza will put up his usual numbers as the entire hockey world speculates whether he’ll be traded at the deadline and the young defenseman David Rundblad should begin to come into his own and become a rare bright spot during this dismal season. MVP: Jason Spezza, Breakout Candidate: David Rundblad.

There isn’t much analysis here (Alfredsson is old and there’s no supporting cast).  I’m not sure if Schlager is serious about the Spezza-trade talk–the idea has never made any sense to me.  There’s nothing else to comment on.

-I’ve looked over McKeen’s yearbook which includes both point predictions as well as a review of the team.  Here’s the gist of their outlook for the Sens: “The Sens off-season essentially began in March when they re-signed netminder Craig Anderson on a four-year deal, installing him as the team’s No. 1 as they attempt to rebuild on the fly under Murray.  Part of the present and future will be an intriguing cast of youth. There’ll be growing pains, to be sure, and this will likely once again be one of the lower scoring teams in the league as some of their newcomers find their footing in fairly substantial roles. The Sens will also be closer to a floor team than a cap team, and playing in what’s quickly becoming a far more competitive Northeast Division, that spells trouble, at least for this season.  There’s nowhere to go but up.”  The magazine see’s Ottawa finishing 13th in the East.  I don’t buy their argument that Ottawa’s payroll is necessarily connected to poor performance, but otherwise I agree with what’s said.

McKeen’s picks Bobby Butler as the team’s player to watch (also calling him a “hidden gem”) with Mika Zibanejad as the Sleeper Prospect.  They believe that Peter Regin, Bobby Butler, and Erik Condra are on the upswing.  David Rundblad is considered the 13th most likely Calder candidate, with Zibanejad as the 18th.  McKeen’s also has a Top Prospect list.  The Sens on it are:
Mika Zibanejad (15)
Jared Cowen (19)
David Rundblad (26)
Nikita Filatov (35)
Patrick Wiercioch (56)
Stefan Noesen (85)
Matt Puempel (97)
Jakob Silfverberg (98)
Robin Lehner comes in as the 3rd highest goalie prospect (behind Jacob Markstrom and Jack Campbell)

McKeen’s predicts the performances of the roster throughout the year:
Jason Spezza 75-70
Milan Michalek 78-51
Daniel Alfredsson 68-51
Erik Karlsson 77-49
Bobby Butler 74-38
Sergei Gonchar 68-38
Nick Foligno 82-35
Nikita Filatov 70-31
Erik Condra 82-31
Peter Regin 75-29
Mika Zibanejad 68-22
Colin Greening 69-22
Filip Kuba 55-19
Chris Phillips 82-18
David Rundblad 69-16
Chris Neil 69-15
Stephane Da Costa 61-15
Jesse Winchester 74-13
Brian Lee 80-13
Zack Smith 66-10

-I’ve also looked at The Hockey News Fantasy Pool Guide.  Stephane Da Costa is sixth in their top-ten prospect list.  Alfredsson makes their high risk/high reward list due to injury-concerns.  Spezza is the highest ranked Senator for top fantasy picks (#36).  There’s not much team analysis offered in the book (that’s not its prerogative), but they do offer “Expect growing pains.”  Their top-ten Sens prospects:
1. David Rundblad
2. Mika Zibanejad
3. Nikita Filatov
4. Jared Cowen
5. Robin Lehner
6. Jakob Silfverberg
7. Patrick Wiercioch
8. Stefan Noesen
9. Colin Greening
10. Matt Puempel

THN’s point predictions for the roster:
Spezza 68
Alfredsson 58
Karlsson 51
Butler 45
Michalek 40
Gonchar 40
Da Costa 33
Filatov 32
Foligno 29
Rundblad 27
Greening 25
Regin 20
Cowen 20
Condra 19
Neil 19
Smith 15
Kuba 15
Phillips 15



  1. […] Two (link) -The Hockey Writers (Brandon Schlager) has the Senators in last place -McKeen’s see’s […]

  2. […] hockey yearbook is one of the better buys in terms of comprehensive content.  Last year McKeen’s predicted the Sens would finish 13th in the conference and that Bobby Butler was a […]

  3. […] opinion (you can check out Corey Pronman, Hockey Futures (John Henkelman), McKeen’s, The Hockey News and Hockey Prospectus‘ lists from back in the […]

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