Thursday, September 9, 2010

Remember Us? Well Like Our Team, We've Got Something To Say

Remember us?

We're a little blog that started up in March of last year. Followed the team down the stretch and into the playoffs and like the Sens, after a little break for the summer, we are back and ridiculously pumped to see how this year's version of the Ottawa Senators tackles the NHL from Pre-Season until Post-Season.

I say UNTIL Post-Season because I am sure (like Dion Phaneuf about his Leafs, but better looking and probably smarter) that this year's team is as good if not significantly more dangerous than last season's version.

THN says 10th in the East. Tenth. From a leading hockey publication. Pre-season NHL power rankings over at TSN aren't complete but I'll put money that the Sens barely crack the top 20 in their esteemed opinion.

And yet there is optimism among Sens fans. Look over at SensChirp and he says second in the East. Yost? He thinks the Sens need Thomas Vokoun to do it, but predicts a second round appearance. Canucnik goes as far as to call the Sens the BEST TEAM IN THE EAST. "Bar none".

So how could there be such a divide between the "experts" and the true fans in the blogs and message boards? Homerism and Kool-Aid gone wild?


Or maybe because the Sens don't have the sexiest, most exciting team in the league, so most people don't bother to look twice at the talent assembled here.

We don't have a Crosby or Ovechkin. Hell we don't even have a Kovalchuk, Luongo, pair of Twins or a Stamkos.

We don't have highly touted young stars like Doughty, Toews, Kane, Duchene or Ryan.

We don't have a fancy exciting starting goalie like King Lundqvist, Miller or Halak.

But does this mean we aren't a talented team?

The exact opposite actually.

We instead have a 26 year old true point per game centre, the longest serving captain in the league (who is 3rd in points since the millennium), the 2008 NHL shutout leader, the leader in rookie scoring for the first round of the playoffs, and the 2nd highest scoring defenceman since the lock-out.

Not to mention the supporting cast.

Kovalev? One of the most skilled players around, his SKILL cannot be argued.

Regin? Couldn't be contained in the playoffs.

Michalek? Couldnt be contained at the beginning of the year before losing his centreman and his knee.

Fisher? A serious consideration for the Men's Olympic team playing with Kovy last year.

KellRuutNeil? A third line that gave the Penguins absolute fits.

The Big Rig? The better, more steady half of Philchenkov. How do you think Volchy was able to go out of position to block all those shots and make those hits?

Get the point yet?

Look, I'm not saying we have the best team in the East. I'm not even saying we will finish second. My honest opinion is 3rd or 4th. I think Gonchar frees up room for Kovy and Spezza on the PP, I think Leclaire has a career year knowing that if he doesn't his career is over and I think that Karlsson produces at the pace he did at the end of last year.

Or we could end up with injuries. But I think healthy, this is a fantastic, VERY dangerous team, and I'm actually starting to enjoy that everyone else doesn't notice.

It'll feel better when we rub it in their faces later. The high octane Sens are back, and we're back. Now let's get some hockey discussion going on here, and let's get this season started.


Anonymous said...

All the people who do predictions just dont do their research...
The arguements presented are: they wont stay healthy, and the goaltending is bad. Guess what? All those things went wrong last year- and we still finished 5th.
This offseason was great, they got exactly what they have needed the last 2 years. All I know is that if your team's defense isnt up to snuff (like more than half of the eastern conference) its going to be a long long night against the Sens. RUN AND GUN!

Young said...

I'm with you Anon, the reasons used are pretty weak... basically the same issues the team faced last year (when they finished 5th) plus the loss of Volchy.

And while volchy is a good player... I'm sorry, he's not make or break, and Gonchar gives the team a new look, and thats a huge thing for a powerplay that has looked virtually the same in its attack since the lockout