Sunday, September 23, 2018

Ottawa Senators 2018-19 season preview



             After trading their first round pick, Kyle Turris and Shane Bowers as part of the package for Matt Duchene, the Ottawa Senators fell. They ended up finishing 30th overall, and would have been last in every division except their own. To top things off, their best player Erik Karlsson's wife filed a case against second best player Mike Hoffman's girlfriend for harassment, which ended in both being dealt to the San Jose Sharks, only to have Hoffman being traded back to their division. Their best player now, Mark Stone, reportedly requested a trade. It's a very dark side in Ottawa. Before we look at their team, here's some fast facts for the Ottawa Senators.

Head Coach: Guy Boucher
General Manager: Pierre Dorion
Arena: Canadian Tire Centre
AHL Affiliate: Belleville Senators
2017-18 record: 28-43-11 (67 points)
2017-18 placement: 7th
Division: Atlantic
2017-18 goals leader: Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel (23)
2017-18 assists leader: Erik Karlsson (53)
2017-18 points leader: Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone (62)
Captain: None
Assistant Captains: Zack Smith, Mark Stone
2018 first round pick: Brady Tkachuk, Jacob Bernard-Docker

Offseason additions: Mikkel Boedker, Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Rudolfs Balcers, Mike McKenna

Offseason subtractions: Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman, Alexandre Burrows, Frederik Claesson, Chris DiDomenico

Forwards: Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Mark Stone are good, but form one of hockey's worst first lines. Chris Tierney will get boosted to second line center, and play alongside 4th overall pick Brady Tkachuk. Drake Batherson and Logan Brown didn't make the team, but Alex Formenton likely will. Jean-Gabriel Pageau's injury hurts. Colin White will get a fourth line center gig, as Formenton fights Tom Pyatt and Magnus Paajarvi for the wing spot.

Forward lines:

Ryan Dzingel - Matt Duchene - Mark Stone
Brady Tkachuk - Chris Tierney - Bobby Ryan
Zack Smith - Filip Chlapik - Mikkel Boedker
Magnus Paajarvi - Colin White - Alex Formenton
Other: Marian Gaborik, Tom Pyatt, Max McCormick
Injured: Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Clarke MacArthur

Defensemen: It doesn't look pretty at all. Cody Ceci is their only top-4 defenseman, but Thomas Chabot has the potential to be one. So does Christian Wolanin. Chris Wideman and Dylan DeMelo are two right side bottom pair defensemen playing. Mark Borowiecki is highly liked by owner Eugene Melnyk, and will only be a bottom pair guy.

Defensive pairs:

Thomas Chabot - Cody Ceci
Christian Wolanin - Chris Wideman
Mark Borowiecki - Dylan DeMelo
Other: Ben Harpur

Goalies: At 37, Craig Anderson is not as good as he used to be. Or close to that. Mike Condon saw regression as well. Like last year, it's very dark time in Ottawa.

Goalie alignment:

Craig Anderson
Mike Condon

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Mark Stone
Matt Duchene
Ryan Dzingel
Filip Chlapik
Bobby Ryan/Cody Ceci

Playoffs: Hell no
Division: 8th

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