Skip to content

It’s Ottawa Senators day on PHT

Aug 23, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Ottawa Senators.

For two straight seasons, the Ottawa Senators seemed to overachieve either by defying expectations or a stunning array of injuries. Everything seemed to shape up for the Sens to be a dark horse candidate in 2013-14 … but instead, everything just went dark.

The Senators ended the season 37-31-14 by way of a strong finish (five wins in a row, 8-2-0 in their last 10 games). Perhaps as much as anything else, 2013-14 argued that the Senators were hoisted up by great goaltending in head coach Paul MacLean’s first two seasons; with netminding that was awful-to-mediocre, Ottawa sagged noticeably overall.

That insufficient late push didn’t convince the team to go the “partial reboot” route as the Senators saw late acquisition Ales Hemsky walk and Jason Spezza get traded to the Dallas Stars.

Next season seems like a fork in the road for this Senators team. Kyle Turris gets a chance to prove that he’s a No. 1 center in the NHL. Bobby Ryan will either cement his status as a long-term fixture or find himself hitting the reset button once more, as he’s currently slated for a contract year (Ottawa avoided such a situation with Clarke MacArthur, so maybe Ryan’s next?).

The goaltending situation remains intriguing, to boot. As much as Robin Lehner‘s contract extension implies that he’s the future in goal, the team is at least saying the right things about keeping Craig Anderson around. Either way, they’re banking on much better seasons from that duo.

Of course, if Erik Karlsson can regain his Norris Trophy form from 2011-12 (rather than just his still very good form post-frightening-injury), this team could be more of a contender than many expect.

Then again, the Sens fans could just as easily be dreaming of top 2015 NHL Draft prospects in early 2015 for all we know. This team is just that much of a riddle (which is why Senators day could be a fun one on PHT).

  1. drewsylvania - Aug 23, 2014 at 9:22 AM

    Being given the Norris doesn’t mean he was a good defender.

    • freewillig - Aug 23, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      He gets run over in front of the net, but there’s no one with better recovery speed and ability to take the puck away. So, he has some limitations yes, but he tends to make up for them in other ways. He’s also not afraid to hit; even if those hits don’t really hurt anyone, he does a good job of separating the puck from the man. He’s certainly not as bad defensively as some make him out to be.

  2. lowenni - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    People need to understand something about the Norris–it goes to the best all around player at that position. Now, I’m not saying Karlsson should’ve won, but it’s a two way game, and he was far and away the best offensive defenseman and producer that season (and last). 70 points for a defenseman is pretty amazing and one could definitely say that they wouldn’t have made the playoffs in 2012 without that production. He’s no Chara or Lidstrom on defense, but he’s not that bad…again I’m not saying he should’ve won the Norris, but it is goals that win games and he was the best by far in that department at the position. The guy is only getting better and his skating and skills are elite–who do we remember as the best defenseman in history? Rod Langway or Bobby Orr? Langway was much better defensively than Orr, but people think Coffey, Orr, Potvin. Goals win games and put fans in the seats. Karlsson supplies both of those things in Ottawa, is one of the few bright spots of the team, could easily end up being a hall of famer, and receives way too much unwarranted criticism.

  3. cantescapekarma - Aug 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    When the F*** is it going to be Buffalo Sabres Day on PHT already…? I have been (impatiently) waiting… I thought for sure it’d be today, after the Isles Day yesterday (since Buffalo’s fate in next years draft is tied to NYI in a way).
    I want my Buffalo Sabres Day already! lol

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:00 PM

      The team sequence was posted the day before the series started. Guess you missed that.

    • phtjoey - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Aug 28th

    • bullwinkle88 - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Yeah, it’s the 28th – the only day I will be away.

      So my vote for Best Sabre of All Time is Gil Perreault. I think Hasek will win, but that’s because the voters are all too young to witness Perreault’s amazing career.

    • cantescapekarma - Aug 23, 2014 at 2:30 PM

      Yeah, I didn’t see that sequence list. Thank you guys for letting me know though! Well, I guess I have a bit longer to wait yet lol.

  4. bullwinkle88 - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Regarding the Senators, I consider them as prime contestants in the McDavid Derby. Outside of Karlsson and maybe Ryan, who else do they have of any real worth? Turris? Lehner? Anderson?, Michalek? MacArthur? Come on… Now that they traded Spezza the cupboard is bare.

    They’re definitely in the McDavid race.

    • freewillig - Aug 23, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      I’m not going to say they’ll make the playoffs, but they have more talent this year than they did the year Spezza, Karlsson and Michalek all missed the majority of the season. Not to mention that that talent is all a year older.

  5. freewillig - Aug 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    I would say this is a pretty thin analysis…but then, maybe they’re all like this; I really haven’t been following it and probably won’t based on this.

  6. ronniethec - Aug 23, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Wasn’t Buffalo Sabres day canceled because of lack of interest ?

  7. paulerhythm - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:14 PM

    The Sens are in the Atlantic Division and must finish 3rd, at the least, to have a chance to make the playoffs. Can they beat out Boston, Montreal or Tampa Bay? I don’t think so. It looks like 3 from Atlantic and 5 from Metropolitan make the show.

  8. blomfeld - Aug 24, 2014 at 1:33 AM

    IF NOTHING MORE, AT LEAST WE KNOW THAT THE SENATORS ‘MEAN’ WELL EH ?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2362)
  2. E. Malkin (2105)
  3. R. Johansen (2099)
  4. F. Forsberg (1858)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1823)
  1. J. Drouin (1797)
  2. C. Giroux (1762)
  3. G. Nyquist (1696)
  4. T. Krug (1672)
  5. D. Stepan (1670)