-The Sens and Habs played back-to-back games, with the home team playing a largely NHL lineup and the away team going with younger players. Not surprisingly, Ottawa steamrolled Montreal 5-2 last night in a sloppy game. Andrew Hammond earned the win and all the Sens goals came from high profile players. There isn’t a lot to take away from the game (although Karlsson was very lucky not to get hurt from a knee-on-knee from Tinordi; Travis Yost continues to love the pre-season). In last night’s game the Habs came away with a 3-1 win, dominating after the first period. Conacher continued his push for the Brandon Bochenski trophy, Cody Ceci continued to struggle defensively, and neither Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman (players supposedly auditioning for the top-six) didn’t stand out (granted Stone was better than Hoffman). I have liked Buddy Robinson‘s play throughout the pre-season, but there isn’t (as yet) production to back it up. Paul MacLean said:
We didn’t get the win but I thought we got a lot of pretty good results. I thought we played pretty hard as a team for 60 minutes and we had an opportunity to win the game. We didn’t win, but I thought a lot of players gave a very good account of themselves.
–Amelia L offers some thoughts on the Sens and here are my thoughts on some of them:
1. Gryba is ahead of Corvo on the depth chart – even without Gryba playing I agree with this; I have no idea why the Sens brought Corvo back
2. Jim O’Brien has been given a lot of opportunities because he was a first round pick – agreed
4. The Sens will always have an enforcer on the roster because of the tendencies of the Murray’s – I disagree (the team had to go get Kassian, which means they didn’t think they needed a player like that beforehand); I think it’s all based on NHL trends
-Ottawa placed Jim O’Brien, Corey Cowick, Tyler Eckford, and Nathan Lawson on waivers. The latter three are clearly intended to play in Binghamton, while in the case of O’Brien (whom Scott reminisces about) it was likely hoped that another team would take him, but that did not happen. Binghamton’s crowded forward group is even more so now.
–Allan Muir includes the Sens among the six teams that are keeping an eye on their Stanley Cup window, writing:
The surest sign that the Senators are on the right path is the recognition that they won’t catch anybody by surprise this time around. Last season played out like a feel-good movie. They were a projected cellar dweller struck by a litany of injuries that should have left them battling the Avalanche for the top spot in the draft. But instead of folding, the Sens banded together under Adams Award-winning coach Paul MacLean to earn a playoff spot, relying on the sort of all-hands-on-deck mentality that will serve them well as they learn to play as contenders. The loss of captain Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit will be felt more by the fans than the team, which should end up being stronger up front with the addition of steady sniper Bobby Ryan and the maturing of promising youngsters like J-G Pageau and Mika Zibanejad. And with a back end led by a healthy Erik Karlsson and all-world stopper Craig Anderson, they’ll hold the fort as well as anyone. There’s always the chance that the Sens will fail to match last season’s success, or maybe even take a step back. That happens sometimes to teams on their way. But it’ll be just a bump in the road, a temporary setback. Ottawa is on the verge of something big.
He writes in another article that he expects Bobby Ryan to have a great year offensively:
While four 30-goal seasons disqualify him as a classic breakthrough player, Ryan is on the verge of a special season in Ottawa. Always cast as a complementary scorer while with the Ducks, he’ll be the primary finisher with the Sens, and with premier playmakers like Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson putting it on the tee for him, Ryan should top his previous career bests of 35 goals and 71 points. To get there, though, he’ll have to do significantly more damage on the power play, where he had just 10 goals in his last 210 games with Anaheim. It should help that he’ll be a fixture on the top unit in Ottawa after being used primarily in the second grouping with the Ducks.
He also includes Patrick Wiercioch in his 12-man list:
Sergei Gonchar took his talents to Dallas, leaving an opening on what should be a lethal power play in Ottawa. Wiercioch, a 6′-5″, 210-pound beast of a defender, seems likely to inherit the enviable position as Erik Karlsson’s partner with the extra man. It’ll require some adjustment — he’d have to switch to the right side after playing on the left all his life — but he has the tools to make it work. “He can really bring it from the point,” our scout said. “Just a great shot. He’ll give that unit a whole different look.”
–Mark Parisi re-visits The Silver Seven‘s predictions from last year.
This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)
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