The Ottawa Senators have faced nothing but heartache this year, and it’s going to be hard for them to rebound. They lost a top defenseman to the Dallas Stars. Sergei Gonchar was signed by Dallas at the end of last season. They also lost a big part of the organization recently. The Detroit Red Wings signed Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson to a 1-year deal. This leaves the team vulnerable. Other departures where Jakob Silfverberg (ANA), Peter Regin (NYI), and Andre Benoit (COL). Three players need to stand out drastically this season if they want a shot at the Stanley Cup. Here they are.
The Anaheim Superstar Bobby Ryan was a new acquire this offseason, which was a play to try and fill Alfie’s spot on the roster. Last season, he scored 30 points in 46 games. This power winger managed to nail down 11 goals and 19 assists, while recording a +3 rating. In his one playoff series, against the fierce Red Wings, he could only muster up 2 goals and 2 assists. He was shut down in the playoffs, but his regular season numbers were very good. Ryan is going to be a big point producer, and I think he will be scoring at least 75 points this year.
Erik Karlsson is one of the best defensemen out there. His season was cut short due to a (controversial) hit by Pittsburgh Penguins’ Matt Cooke, which ended up with Cooke’s skate in the back of Karlsson’s ankle. To quickly comment, I think it was an accident, but that’s not important here. What is important is what he did in just 17 regular season games. This brick wall defenseman earned 14 points. Yes, he grabbed 6 goals and 8 assists in 17 games. He also ended the season with a +8 rating. Had he been there all season, what could these Senators have accomplished? It makes you wonder a little bit. He returned for the playoffs and grabbed 1 goal and 7 assists in 10 games. He is a big points player, and he will be hitting the 90 point mark this season.
Obviously, Craig Anderson needs to be as much of a brick wall as Karlsson was last season. He recorded a great 12-9-2 record last year, and was one of the top goalies. His 1.69 goals against average was good, as well as his .941 save percentage. If he can play as well as he did last year (and maybe in this situation, a little better) he can really knock out the competition. Anderson needs to be how Corey Crawford was last season, and how Jonathan Quick was the year before that. That is a lot to ask for though.
The Senators have a lot to deal with without their captain and a strong defender. I don’t think they will be able to make the playoffs this season, but if they do, it’ll be a close call. Let me know what you think about the Sens’ situation. Tweet us @TMMotS and @NardoneDylan.