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Expectations for 2015/16

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  • Expectations for 2015/16

    Although we don't know what the final roster will look like, I think it's safe to say the Sens won't be doing any dramatic work this summer. They'll probably move Greening and a veteran, re-sign their RFAs and perhaps sign a depth player or two. The goaltending situation is unclear, but we know Anderson will likely start the majority of games. With that being said, what is your expectations for next season (team/players)?

    - Make the playoffs in a divisional playoff spot, and do some damage. The last three times the Sens have made the playoffs - 2012, 2013 and 2015 - they've done it in unique ways. Whether it was expected to finish in the bottom five in the league, crazy injuries or the biggest comeback to make the playoffs in NHL history, the Sens have given the fans a reason to say, "Well, we weren't even supposed to be here. At least we made it." The Sens have a good top six, an average defensive group and good goaltending. It's time to make the playoffs in convincing fashion and do some damage.

    - Erik Karlsson to have a good 82-game season. With Methot in better condition than he was last year (knock on wood), Karlsson should have a solid partner for the year. I'm expecting 65-70 points from Karlsson and the poise and defense he played in the second half of the season. As the captain, he has to lead by example like Alfie did.

    - Bobby Ryan to live up to expectations. Although for the first ~60 games of the season I wouldn't have complained about Ryan, the Sens brought him in to be a big offensive threat on the Sens. He showed a commitment to leadership and an all-around game this year despite battling through injuries. My expectations of Ryan are to get back to the 30 goal plateau, and put up ~65 points.

    - Mika Zibanejad to crack 55 points. He's improved every year he's been in the league, which is a good sign. Despite a poor start, he finished with a good season. During the California road trip he was one of our best players, getting matched up and outplaying Ryan Getzlaf, Anze Kopitar and Joe Thornton. He has #1 centre potential and next season he needs to make the next jump.

  • #2
    The only thing that worries me IS expectations. Over the last few seasons it's seemed to me that when the Senators are expected to do well, they somehow blow it. Yet when they're expected to do poorly, they come out strong.

    I think at least some of that won't be an issue with the team's new culture. There aren't many floaters or lazy players left on the team (are there any?)

    What I have are more akin to hopes than expectations:

    I hope Kyle Turris stays the same or improves yet Mika Zibanejad does even better.

    I hope Bobby Ryan scores prolifically.

    I hope Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman have great sophomore seasons.

    I hope Matt Puempel makes a case for himself as a regular.

    I hope Curtis Lazar scores more.

    I hope we trade David Legwand.

    I hope Erik Karlsson keeps up this season's level of play.

    I hope Cody Ceci continues to improve. Very impressed with him.

    I hope Jared Cowen either gets it right or gets traded.

    I hope Craig Anderson continues his amazing play.

    I hope the Senators draft a future star.

    I hope the Senators win it all.


    • #3
      I expect our form to even out. It's clearly not sustainable to go on history making hot streaks in the second half of a season - consistency will be key.

      There's some dead weight to be moved (Legwand, Greening, possibly Neil and Phillips) but I'm not expecting stellar returns for any of them. In fact, when all is said and done personnel wise, I expect the team will be much the same as it was last year. We'd be stupid to not re-up Condra. Hammond could go but we still have 3 goalies and a legit starter in Anderson if that situation arises.

      A lot depends on what our young kids do. Does Stone get better or worse in a sophomore season? Do we get the Hoffman that was scoring like a machine or the much quieter one we saw later in the season? Can Ceci continue to improve and get more consistent? What about Cowen, does he get a regular shift next year?

      And quite possibly the biggest question mark...can Bobby Ryan score goals? He is essentially our replacement for Heatley in his prime...I'd rather not have him mirror the spectacular flame out we saw from Heatley.


      • #4
        I think Stone produces no matter what. I don't know if he breaks his 64 point mark from last season, but he'll put up points. A player like him, who relies on hockey IQ rather than speed, his shot, his vision, etc. is bound to always produce. That's why he put up 4 points in the 5 games following his fractured wrist.

        Hoffman takes a step back. All signs point to a sophomore slump for Mike Hoffman. Going cold down the stretch didn't help, either. Still, I think he'll be a 30-goal, 50-point guy in his prime. I don't think he'll really get much better than he is now.

        Ceci's best attribute is definitely his poise. Despite being a 21 year old sophomore thrown onto the second pairing, he played like a 28 year old veteran who's been there, done that. His shot is underused, and it would be nice if he could figure out how to help decide games, on top of being the guy who will never decide games (if that makes any sense).

        Cowen is going to be an interesting one. He's young, he has some tools to be a good defenseman, but his time is starting to run out. I could see the Sens moving him in the summer. They picked him 6 years ago, now, and he's a healthy scratch for the most important games of the season. I'd love to give him more time, but I feel as if the Sens window is opening a lot sooner than people expect (1-2 years). Our entire defense took a step forward, expect Cowen. The best option might be to trade him and open up some salary.

        I have a strange feeling Condra walks as a UFA. I'm not sure why. He seems like a lock to sign for me - cheap, great chemistry with his line, makes stuff happen when he's on the ice. His spot shouldn't be up for grabs - the entire fourth line should be.