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On the Black Aces blog I saw a series of predictions. I thought it would be fun to see what everyone here thinks. I've added a few, because predicting the trophies is always fun. Feel free to add extra predictions. And lets revisit these come summer, shall we?
Ottawa Senators Predictions
Finish in Eastern Conference: 8th
Get past 1st round in playoffs: Yes
Leading Scorer: Jason Spezza
Most surprising player: Guillaume Latendresse (I presume Milks meant it in a positive sense)
Comeback player: Peter Regin
Slow starter: Craig Anderson
Fast starter: Erik Karlsson
Doghouse candidate: Chris Philips
Rookie defenseman to crack roster first: Mark Borowiecki
Trade for a defenseman early or wait and see: Wait and see
Trade bait: Ben Bishop
Division team Ottawa will have most trouble with: Toronto (as much as it pains me to say this, I really think so)
Division team Ottawa will dominate: Boston (no Thomas, remember)
Is this Alfie’s last season: Nope. One more should be in it, especially since this was a short one.
Rest of the NHL
Stanley Cup winner: Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup finalist: St. Louis
Will Bettman present Stanley Cup? Off course, remember the ego?
Who will: Buttman
Art Ross: Steven Stamkos
Hart: Alfie (one can dream...)
Vezina: Brian Elliot
Norris: Erik Karlsson
Calder: Justin Schultz
Lady Bing: Alfie
Masterton: Hard to predict... Crosby?
Lindsay: (most outstanding player as voted by NHLPA members) Steven Stamkos
Messier Leadership: Alfie, three times is a charm...
Surprise teams that stumble out of the gate (East/West): New Jersey Devils/Vancouver Canucks
Surprise teams that charge out of the gate (East/West): Pittsburgh Penguins/Edmonton Oilers
Most underrated team: Carolina Hurricanes
Most overrated team: As always, the Screaming Trees
First coach to get fired: Mike Yeo (Minnesota)
Surprise team to make the playoffs: Edmonton Oilers
Surprise team to miss the playoffs: Minnesota Wild
First Brendan Shanahan video: Second day of the season (date of incident), release video the day after.
Ottawa Senators Predictions-----------------------------------
Finish in Eastern Conference: 6th
Most surprising player: Mark Methot
Doghouse candidate: Latendress
Rookie defenseman to crack roster first: Weircoch
Trade bait: Ben Bishop, Mika Zibanejad, Sergei Gonchar
Division team Ottawa will have most trouble with: Toronto
Division team Ottawa will dominate: Buffalo
Is this Alfie’s last season: Yes
I expect Edmonton to come out of the gate running. All their young guns have been lighting it up in the AHL and are in mid season form.
Question is how long will it take players who have not been playing competitively take to catch up to those that have been playing.Conditioning and injuries could be a factor as well in the 1st 15 games, especially those who haven't been playing the past 3 months.
As the the playoff start, those who have not been playing the past 3 months, will be in "mid season" form while those who have been playing may be more worn down.
I think the Sens had about a dozen players playing elsewhere during the lockout, whether it be in the AHL or Europe.
Peter Regin as a comeback player? Well he has no choice after the injuries of the past seasons. I just hope he can stay healthy and if he does he could be an impact player.
Will the Sens sign Winchester?
He was quickly turning into one of my favourites before the injury. I thought he had made a lot of progress as a checking centre.
I think, if he's concussion free they sign him for the year as a depth player and play him if someone struggles or gets injured. At least the Sens know what they are getting with him, and he knows Maclean's system.
i think I mentioned this in our last show but i dont expect the Sens to be any better than last year and I actually wouldn't be surprised if they took a small step back and just missed the play-offs. the D could be a problem. Goaltending will be solid, forwards should be ok. maybe, hopefully, they pick up where they left off and cont to move up the ranks but i just have a feeling that this is a stall year for them. they had a little magic happening last season that will be hard to duplicate.
Woah... negative waves Russell...
hoping I'm wrong.
Please start another contest like "Kelly" with an presumed underachieving Senator
every game that Peter Regin plays?
Agree with Russell - healthy dose of realism. But ... who knows?! It's a different team this year. Lots of player turnover.
I do hope they ship Gonchar somewhere and get anything in return for him.
Gonchar has to want to go.. remember how people booed him at last year's home opener? I almost felt sorry for the guy.
Rumour has it the Jets and Sens will play on Saturday the 19th as the Jets home opener. I'd almost sell my soul to get tickets. Because it will be soooo satisfying being a Senator's fan when they brutalize the Jets on home ice.... again.... mwa ha ha ha ha ha!
I'm interested to see how big Byfuglien is and if he can lose one pound per minute of ice time because of the cardio. He's totally going to be at forward if he's as huge as that picture in the summer showed
Gonchar has to want to go.. remember how people booed him at last year's home opener?
While Gonchar was likely hurt by that behaviour by a bunch of classless fans at the home opener last year, I'm not sure he wants to leave. He had a good year last year and if he can have another one like it this year, which he could well do so as he's been playing in the KHL so he's in far better "game shape" than a lot of players who will be on the ice at the start of the season, it could set him up for another contract in the NHL or in the KHL so that he's able to be in shape and ready to play at the Olympics in 2014 in Russia.
this is a contract year for the Gonch, is it not?
Yes, contract year. Kardinal, I was at the first game and was one of the fans booing the loudest. That was in regards to his absolute lack of effort in the Detroit game. I continue to voice my displeasure with him. He can turn me around with stronger play and we'll see how he does this year.
I was joking last night at our fantasy hockey draft that he'd come back to camp at like 300 pounds, but apparently he's been 'working out' or something. We all laughed when Tkachuk came back too heavy for training camp, people here still call him "Keith Tkchub". (When the players where locked out of the NHL someone should've locked Keith out of his fridge- was a popular newspaper headline) Byf is a terrible defenseman anyway, I dunno why he insists on playing it.
I've always been ambivalent towards Gonchar but (before last year) he really did seem like he didn't give a damn about the team he was playing for and I think that's what people hated the most. It will be interested to see how the European/KHL players do off the hop. It's also going to be weird to watch touch icing again and refs that actually let the players play the game instead of calling every tiny infraction.
Ottawa Senators Predictions by notapuckbunny-----------------------------------
Finish in Eastern Conference: 4th
Get past 1st round in playoffs: yes
Leading Scorer: Milan Michalek
Most surprising player: Guillaume Latendresse
Fast starter: Milan Michalek
Doghouse candidate: Marc Methot
Trade for a defenseman early or wait and see: tradsies
Trade bait: Sergei Gonchar, Ben Bishop, Jared Cowen, Colin Greening
Division team Ottawa will dominate: Montreal
Interesting thread... definitely should revisit this at the end of the regular season to see how everything panned out.
Finish in Eastern Conference: 7th
Leading Scorer: a) Points - Jason Spezza b) Goals - Latendresse
Most surprising player: Silfverberg
Comeback player: Regin is the only choice as the only long-term injury returnee... but I'll SAY Winchester, as I think they'll sign him for the year and give him a shot
Slow starter: Karlsson (other teams will def. try to shut him down and I think that'll affect his game)
Fast starter: Alfie
Doghouse candidate: The Daug, Daugavins lol! Him or O'Brien
Rookie defenseman to crack roster first: Wiercioch
Trade bait: Ben Bishop, Mika Zibanejad, Sergei Gonchar, Daugavins
Division team Ottawa will have most trouble with: Boston
Is this Alfie’s last season: HELL FFFFFFFFFFFF NO!
@puckbunnyTrade(bait) Cowen? You've been having the good stuff, haven't you? He's a young guy with tons of potential, what do you want in return? I'd rather trade Zbad (as Dawg is suggesting).
Hej Dawg, if Latendresse scores the most goals of the Sens roster, shouldn't he be the most surprising player? Maybe not to you, but definitely for me and a lot of others, I guess.
Labru, you got a point. lolI was thinking (or hoping), Latendresse discovers the form of a couple of years ago when he scored 25 goals in 55 games before getting injured. I am thinking that would be probably the highest on the team.
Yeah your right, I was sitting at YVR when I typed that up. BUT as much as I love Jared Cowan, I would rather the Sens tradsies for a defenseman like Drew Doughty, which is one of my faves. Wishful thinking I know!
@Puckbunny (or not ;-) ),
Cowen for Doughty, one for one? I would do that in a heartbeat.
But the problem is for a better defenseman we'll have to give up more. Doughty for Cowen and ZBad/Bishop + pick isn't sounding as attractive, is it? He might be worth it, but you're trading quite a chunk of your future away. Under a cap system, the best way to do well is to have lots of homegrown talent. That way the young players can give you some of their best play while on a 'cheap' contract. Top 2/4 minutes for top 6 money. I know acquiring a Top 2 defenseman will cost you, dearly. But knowing we're still in a rebuild, we shouldn't trade too much of our future away, unless we really are cup-contenders. But hey, that's my opinion.
Looks like Redden will be one of the "compliance buyouts" that teams are now allowed for this season. If Redden is willing to sign for league minimum this season, would you want him back on the Sens?
Interesting thing, Redden and Gomez will get bought out this week. Chris Drury was bought out in June 2011. All three were signed by Glen Sather.