This series will cover all thirty teams and go over the most important player, and player who’s performance most needs to improve to help the team succeed.
The Senators had one of their worst seasons last year. Not just statistically, but in terms of performance of those on the ice. They weren’t fun to watch, and it was clear even with all the walking wounded and star eyed AHL prospects levied into the roster that more than one veteran was counting the days until they didn’t have to interrupt their golfing, hunting and self pity with hockey. There were some bright spots, Bobby Butler put up 21 points in 36 games while shuttling between Ottawa and Binghamton, Erk Karlsson nearly doubled his points production in a fifth more games, and Jason Spezza ended his season with a four game points streak and healthy.
Key veterans are all motivated to stop being the division punch line. Given age, health and consistency concerns among Aldredsson, Spezza and Anderson it’s hard to say which (if any) will emerge as the rock the teams upward climb from last seasons futility will rest upon. All three are capable of carrying play and team for stretches, who knows maybe they all get in the zone at once.
Youth, youth, youth. If Zibanejad, Karlsson, Butler, Cohen, Rundblad, and the enigmatic Filatov can play near potential this year the Senators are going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. The Sens Sixpack has all the talent to be the core of the team for the next ten years and could easily spark a Chicago like renaissance. But, given what has been said about the attitude of certain players in Ottawa, the vast age gulf between them and team captain Alfredsson, and the lack of a true #1 defenseman to guide the backend, one wonders what this group will do and how well.