–Varada compares Ottawa to Montreal and concludes:
It’s obviously going to be a close series, with perhaps a small edge given to the Habs when you consider that the gap between their ability to score and ability to defend is not quite as large as the gap between Ottawa’s ability to defend and ability to score. Add home ice advantage, and the Habs probably should take the series in six or seven… …on the other hand, Ottawa isn’t even supposed to be here. They’ve spent most of the season dealing with ridiculous injuries, and even crafted a team identity around it (#peskysens). Their goaltenders have a tendency to get hot and stay hot. Their defensive stats are legit, but their offensive stats reflect, in part, a season without their Norris Trophy winner–and he’s back now. Looking only at the stats, this might not be the same Ottawa team Montreal faced.
–Nichols offers a brief snapshot of the Sens-Habs match-up.
–Tim Wharnsby predicts the Sens will win in seven.
-Apparently Glen Healy felt inspired to inflame Sens fans as according to Senschirp he said:
Cute season for Ottawa. Lovely story lines. But this won’t be a series.
[Erik Karlsson is] a one trick pony.
Healy isn’t an idiot so clearly he wants to put the fan base on tilt. It’s the kind of thing that’s given Don Cherry and Mike Milbury their careers, so there’s some method to the madness, but fans shouldn’t allow themselves to be baited. It’s one thing to get angry or exasperated by actual sports journalists, but that’s not what Healy is so he should just be ignored.
–Allen Panzeri writes about Paul MacLean’s success this year.
–Bobby Kelly takes a look at Binghamton’s first two playoff games without including comments about the officiating (something B-Sens fans have complained about); he gives Chris Wideman particular praise.
-Speaking of Binghamton, Stefan Noesen is on his way to join the team (no official transfer notice, just Noesen Tweeting out the fact).
–Hockey’s Future offers their organisational rankings for prospects and slots Ottawa in second, saying:
Strengths: The Ottawa Senators prospect pool is loaded with forward depth. They have players at all three forward positions with the potential to be top-six scoring forwards. Most of the Senators forward prospects feature a strong two-way game, as well. Mika Zibanejad and Jakob Silfverberg are fitting in nicely at the NHL level and are being counted on to provide offense and play responsibly in their own end. The Senators have also benefited from the strong play of netminder Robin Lehner and defenseman Patrick Wiercioch. In general, the organization has done an excellent job of making sure they have good depth at forward and defense.
Weaknesses: Although Lehner is one of the top goaltending prospects in the world, after him the Senators lack depth in net. They could use another top offensive center as well now that they are close to losing Zibanejad to graduation.
Top 5 Prospects: 1. Mika Zibanejad, C; 2. Jakob Silfverberg, LW/RW; 3. Robin Lehner, G; 4. Cory Conacher, LW; 5. Stefan Noesen, RW.
The top-five is virtually identical to the one composed before the season began (Conacher has simply been inserted). One can debate whether Chris Driedger and Francois Brassard comprise adequate goaltending depth or not (Andrew Hammond is not considered, perhaps because of his age or because HF hasn’t had someone covering the Sens for months), but their prospect list reminds me of an irritation I have with their guidelines: four of the five “top” players are regular NHL players, so counting them as prospects seems pointless to me. I understand they will disappear from the list next season as they hit the required games played, but I wish HF would apply a little common sense in order to create more meaningful lists of prospects.
–NHL.com‘s Adam Kimelman, Mike G. Morreale, and Steven Hoffner offer their mock drafts and have Ottawa selecting: Ryan Hartman, Zach Nastasiuk, and Max Domi.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)