2008/09 Ottawa Senators Season Preview

Ottawa Senators2.  Ottawa Senators Season Preview

After getting off to a hot start they took a big nose dive in the second half of last season and even ran a possible risk of missing the playoffs. I see them finishing stronger this year.

The Sens forwards are lead by the three amigos: Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza. I’m a fan of Antonie Vermette and he should help out with the secondary scoring, but that’s pretty much it. Mike Fisher is far from horrible but has yet to reach 50+ points in the NHL and should be looked on to win faceoffs and play solid in his own end rather than put up points. Nick Foligno, Chris Neil, Shean Donovan, Dean McAmmond and Jarkko Ruutu are okay options for the bottom 6, but wont be looked upon to fill the net.

Even with the addition of Jason Smith, Ottawa’s defence is weaker than last year losing both Redden and Meszaros. Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov are solid defencemen, but are a step down from what they had as their top pairing last year. Filip Kuba is a decent 2nd pairing defenceman but isn’t quite capable of leading a PP which is what he’ll have to do in Ottawa. Brian Lee, Alexandre Picard and Luke Richardson are good depth guys but wont be making any type of impact.

In net the Senators are taking a risk with Martin Gerber as the #1. Unlike most people, I do believe Gerber is a good goalie, but I don’t think he’s good enough to steal games, especially in the playoffs. Alex Auld is solid as the backup.

This team isn’t as good as last year with a lack of depth up front, no real big threat on the blue line and so-so in net. However, as I stated the Northeast is weaker that it’s been in a while so I still expect them to finish second in the division.

Tags: Anton Volchenkov, Chris Phillips, Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley, Jason Smith, Jason Spezza, Martin Gerber, NHL, preview, Senators,