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And then there were 9: Senators out, but future’s bright

Apr 26, 2012, 9:45 PM EST

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No team is ever happy about being eliminated, but the Ottawa Senators can take more positives out of their first round exit than most.

What was supposed to be another rebuilding season turned into something more. Ottawa’s youth movement seems to be progressing nicely and they showed a lot of heart, battling into the dying minutes of Game 7 against the first seed New York Rangers.

Still, the Rangers held on to earn a 2-1 victory and advance to the second round, so let’s take a look back at the Senators.

What happened?

As is often the case, goaltending proved to be the difference. Although Ottawa’s Craig Anderson did a fine job, Henrik Lundqvist was superb. Ottawa never managed to get more than three goals on him in a single contest.

Who takes the blame?

It almost seems unfair to point fingers at the Senators, but if there’s one player that failed to live up to expectations, it was Milan Michalek. Coming off a breakout season, Michalek ultimately fizzled out when his team needed him the most.

What will they do about it?

They shouldn’t feel like they’re under pressure to make big changes. Although the transition might be painful, especially if Daniel Alfredsson decides to retire rather than complete his current contract, the Senators’ young players deserve a chance to show what they can do in key roles. Perhaps the biggest question going into training camp will be their goaltending. As previously stated, Anderson looked good in this series, but he has two promising netminders breathing down his neck in Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner.

More

And then there were 15: Is Detroit’s dynasty on its last legs?

And then there were 14: Sharks come out flat in playoffs

And then there were 13: Powerhouse Pens fall flat

And then there were 12: Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks bounced in Round 1

And then there were 11: Another first-round exit for Blackhawks

And then there were 10: Bruins run out of Game 7 magic

  1. obamablowz - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    Flyers take out all hated division foes Penguins, Devils, Rangers…..then to cup taking out Richards and Carter? God that would be great.

  2. anthonykornheiser - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    arent the sens a fairly old team? They definitely have a lot of promising young guys, but also have a bunch that are long in the tooth and some dead weight, eg: gilroy

    • polegojim - Apr 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Well…. whether they’ve been young or old…. the result has been the same.

      They lack leadership to carry them through the tough games.

      Although I’ll admit… Alfredsson showed up last night. Just not quite enough..

    • Josh. - Apr 27, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Old? They have Gonchar and Alfredsson who’re up there. But the majority of the key players on the team are young. Spezza and Michalek are sorta middle-age in hockey terms, but Turris, Greening, Condra, Smith and Foligno – these guys are still kids. Plus Karlsson and Cowen on the blue line and a couple of solid young goaltenders on the way up in Bishop and Lehner – I don’t understand how you conclude they’re “fairly old”.

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