Ugh, the Ottawa Senators. Do I have to?
Alright. As someone who recently went to an Ottawa Senators “home game”, I have to say that I was both impressed and unimpressed.
I was impressed by the aesthetics of the arena – both the outside and main concourse.
I was unimpressed by how little their fans seem to care about the Senators. Seats were covered with tarps because they can’t sell them. Leafs fans took up 70% of the arena (which is why home game was put in quotes earlier). And Sens fans looked like strangers in their own home.
It was sad to see. I thought Ottawa was a hockey market. Hey, maybe it is. Maybe it’s just the location of the arena, which is out in the middle of nowhere. I’ll accept that excuse.
Mark Stone – The 25-year-old has stepped up as one of the Senators best forwards over the last few seasons. If he hadn’t missed 11 games last year, he was in line for his 3rd consecutive 60-point season. More of the same should be expected this year.
Mike Hoffman – He’s a goal scorer, who has flirted with 30 goals the last 3 years, but hasn’t quite gotten there. Yet.
Kyle Turris – I’ve never really understood the hype. He’s been regarded as their number one centre for a few seasons, but to me, that’s just because they had no one else. In a perfect world, he’s a second or third line centre. Maybe I’m wrong. (I’m never wrong).
Erik Karlsson – He is the straw that stirs the drink. The brick that builds the house. The paperclip that holds paper together. He’s the Captain and one of the best players in the NHL. 70 points in a season looks effortless for him.
Dion Phaneuf – Thank you, Ottawa, for taking him off our hands. Signed, Leafs fans. Honestly though, he’s not a bad #2 guy to have on the blue line. He’ll eat up a lot of ice time.
Notable: Cody Ceci
Craig Anderson – Anderson has been really good for the Senators since coming over from Colorado during the 2010-11 season. He’s getting up there in age, so the Sens will need a replacement eventually, but for now, he continues to be reliable in net.
Mike Condon – He’s a solid backup goalie. No complaints here.
1. The Ottawa Senators took Alexandre Daigle 1st overall in the 1993 Draft – their second as a franchise. Daigle was a bust. Who went #2 in the draft? Hall of Famer, Chris Pronger. Oh nooo. *Insert The Price is Right fail horn here*
2. The first Leafs game I ever went to was in 2003, I believe. They faced the Ottawa Senators.
3. The Leafs beating the Senators in the playoffs felt like an annual thing when I was a kid.
4. Last season, Auston Matthews scored 4 goals against Ottawa in the first game of his career. He signed his stick and gave it to their goalie after the game.
5. Ottawa won only 33 games in their first 3 season in the NHL.
6. For $13, you can buy a cheeseburger at their arena. THIRTEEN DOLLARS. Or maybe it was $12.50 and I’m misremembering…
7. Go Leafs Go.
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
The Sens have been mystifying to me the last couple of years. They do not have a name brand talent, but always manage to compete. They have strong goaltending and defense but their first line LW is currently listed as Ryan Dzingel. Who or what is a Ryan Dzingel?
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
The Senators are a well coached team, lead by Guy Boucher. They play a good system and have elevated the play of guys you wouldn’t expect to be major contributors.
I think they’ll make the playoffs this season and I hope they face the Leafs at some point. It’s a rivalry that needs to be properly renewed.
ONE WILD PREDICTION
Mark Stone will score 35 goals.
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