Are the Senators still a playoff threat?

Assuming the Senators squeak into the playoffs, which could be anywhere from 4th to 8th place, are they still even a threat in the playoffs? Many people will look to their experience and past ‘success’ (especially last year’s Final’s appearance) as evidence that they are still to be feared. They still have plenty of offensive production, as seen by their 252 goals to date (2nd best in the NHL, just four goals behind Montreal), but their goaltending has been questionable. They are 12th worst in the East, 25th worst in the NHL and worst among all playoff teams for Goals Against. Worse still, their record of late has been appallingly atrocious. They are 1-4-1 in their last six games and have won only 13 of 37 games following a 29-10-4 start.Are they really to be feared?

Since the big Stillman and Commodore trade for Eaves and Corvo, the Sens have never really clicked, while the Canes have gone on one of the best NHL records since that trade.

Ottawa could hypothetically play any of:
Pittsburgh
Montreal
Carolina (a strong possibility)
NJ
NYR

heck, even Philly and Boston have a chance at getting the 4th or 5th seed with Ottawa taking the other spot.

Which of these teams does Ottawa have the best chance at overcoming in the first round?
Can they even beat any of these teams?

Lastly, are you at all afraid to play Ottawa in the 1st round?

The Penguins got dismantled by the Sens last year, so I’d prefer avoid them and face the Bruins, Flyers and certainly the Caps. But I don’t fear the Sens as much as I did even a month ago. This could be dangerous thinking, but it could be pragmatic as well. The Pens would have a lot to prove to themselves and have a lot more weapons and confidence this year than the Sens. They’d also have home ice.

Personally, I’d love the Senators to have to face the Devils or Rangers to eliminate one of these powerhouses. What do Sens fans think? Who could they beat in the 1st round? Who would you most like to face in the first round?

How about the Habs? Do Habs fans think they’d overcome the Sens? Do you even really want to find out?

PS. I wrote and submitted this article before the Habs vs. Sens game, but have updated the stats since the Habs shutout win.


95 Responses to Are the Senators still a playoff threat?

  1. OldNord says:

    Ottawa doesn't stand a chance to win the Stanley Cup, this year and next year.

    The offensive players can't win a cup by themselves and like cartino wrote, by chance they did signed Heatley and Spezza early cause they would have fetched more on the open market, I know that Spezza was set to be a RFA but nonetheless.

    So from there, great first line, marginal depth, good defense, poor goaltending.

    Emery will be bought out for sure for one, he's an asshole and two, the caoaching staff goes with Gerber. Emery is better option than Gerber from that point but they let him on the bench.

    Emery out, unpredictable goalies via UFA market next summer…see Théodore, Hasek (no chance, the Sens did kept him), Huet (he will sign with the Capitals), Kolzig (on the decline, might retire as a Cap) so the only option for the Sens is a trade for an elite goalie.

    And the sad part of this team, no depth prospects wise.

    Ottawa was the team to beat for many years but choked desperately and now they're going the other way with no goalie, strangled by the cap hit and practically no prospects to take over.

  2. BruMagnus says:

    What I meant to say is the Flyers have been extremely streaky. They have lacked consistency all year, which is a massive cause of concern.

    The Flyers lost, what, 10 games straight? Or was it 11? Aside from an early 4 game losing streak, the Pens never lost more than 2 in a row!!! That's what I'm talking about. It's similar with the Capitals who were cold and hot and cold a bit and hot again, or the Oilers… these teams never do well in the playoffs (if they even make it) because they lack consisntecy and something else, maybe confidence?

  3. BruMagnus says:

    Many people before have pointed out the all-star lineup the Penguins had.
    Although I do totally agree that without Mario they'd likely not have won (but remember they did fine when he got slashed).
    Also, this just shows how important having guys like Crosby, Malkin and Hossa are for a team. If even one of them can step up like Mario always did, we're in good shape, right?

  4. BruMagnus says:

    LOL. I'll be in the same boat as you!

  5. BruMagnus says:

    I totally agree with, "It's like they think they're going to be given something rather than have to earn it."

  6. BruMagnus says:

    First it was the Lightning, then the Sabres, now the Senators.

    I wonder who's next year's team? The Devils finally?

  7. Radio says:

    Except Chantal is not hot…

  8. leafy says:

    Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia game

    Watching the 2nd period on TSN, great game!!!

    Malkin is as skilled as any player in the league.  Terrific stickhandler and skater.

    The Pens are very dangerous on the attack, but extremely sloppy defensively.  For one thing, they were caught pinching at least 5 times in one period alone.  They better smarten up by next week.

    Philadelphia is a goon team.  Having said that, they're playing a lot better than 4 weeks ago.  And they're pretty good in creating scoring chances.

  9. wheresthesoda says:

    not even that but Eaves is a young talented players, and they picked up Stillman? who is going to become a free agent. And Corvo is a big threat from the blue line.

  10. LeafsNation91 says:

    The Pittsburg defence is not that bad, they really shut down Briere and really put a little beat down on the Flyers, though the score was 4-2.

    Th Flyers tried to beat Pittsburg by grinding out a game, the Penguins showed they can be more physical then the Flyers which is huge because it shows that the Pens can beat alot of teams no matter what gamplena you throw at them.

    M-A Fleury is quietley becoming the best goaltender in the league. Another solid performance.

  11. leafy says:

    Interesting.  Mind you, I only saw the 2nd period.  A number of odds man rushes given up, or at the very least, defenceman having to skate for their lives to catch up because they were caught getting greedy.  Otherwise, I agree the D was limiting Philly's chances.

    Seeing the Pens play physical against the rough Flyers is reminiscent of Montreal beating Philly at their own game in the 1976 finals.

    Definitely Fleury looked dynamite tonight.

  12. CanadianbornPlaya says:

    Emery is the first one gone at the end of the season. If he is lucky enough to find a team that needs a total idiot ,  then he will be fine. Longshot though.

  13. CofRED says:

    Its too bad, really.  As a Canadian, I want to see as many Canadian teams in the playoffs as possible (except the damn Oilers, but I'm a Flames fan so that should be expected).  But Ottawa flat out doesn't deserve to be in the playoffs this year, and I'd rather watch the best teams in the post season than a Canadian team that doesn't seem to want to be there.

  14. Radio says:

    Philly and Boston lose, which is good news for Ottawa.

    Honestly, anyone could be anyone this post-season in the East. It's wide open.

  15. Lint07 says:

    that is not the point.

  16. Radio says:

    Yes, I am aware of that.

  17. wayne2 says:

    Personnaly,the way i see it there’s only a few untouchables in Ottawa and a few question marks on to keep or not:
    untouchables:Phillips,Volchenkov,Heatley,Fisher
    Heatley=goal scoring power forward
    Volchenkov=physical shot bloquing
    Phillips=physical with excellent defensive skills and leadership
    Fisher=character,leadership,should be the captain.

    Not sure but should keep:Vermette,Kelly
    Vermette=too much potential and does all the little things right
    Kelly=strong defensive forward with leadership

    Spezza=nice trade value,lacks leadership and is unidimentional.
    Emery=trade or buyout contract,cancer

    Keep young players and build around:
    Brian Lee,Foligno,Meszaros

  18. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him.

  19. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him. Give

  20. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him. Give it

  21. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him. Give it t

  22. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him. Give it to

  23. BruMagnus says:

    I disagree about goaltending. You need an elite or near elite goaltender to win a Cup.

    As for Leadership I totally agree. Someone said earlier that if Mark Messier were Captain, he'd have personally had Emery beaten for his antics. Alfredsson has just never impressed me as a Captain and I knew last year they wouldn't win the Cup because of him. Give it to Heatley!

  24. BruMagnus says:

    I swear I responded before.

    The Flyers are in dire straits. They need wins also against NJ and Pittsburgh (losing today already once)… they may get 0 points. Before I said they'd get 3 points max outta 6. 4 is now the max as they got 0 today. They'll be hard pressed to beat NJ but may squeak one out against the Pens (especially if the Pens have already clinched the East, if not…. watchout!)

    Also, the Bruins aren't save yet either!

  25. BruMagnus says:

    And the Flyers prediction strengthens its case with a regulation loss to the Pens… will they even get 3 points now? They face the Devils and Pens to close their season!

  26. BruMagnus says:

    It's too bad you didn't watch the whole game.
    The first period was likely the best. The 3rd the worst (the refs were retarded, after letting the teams play playoff hockey they changed their officiating in the 3rd… so *****ing inconsistent!).

    I agree the Pens played one of their worse defensive games of late, the Flyers seeming to have that effect on us. But the Flyers have just as terrible D. I think the Pens knew that they weren't playing the Devils or Rangers so they took more chances… and were rewarded for it.

    It was good to see the Pens out-muscle the Flyers. Heck, Sergei Gonchar even threw a massive hit on the dirty Hartnell.

    It was even better to see Sid score twice and Malkin to get 2 points, but most importantly to see the Pens get their PP back on track.

    You'll all note that prior to this game I predicted all these things, not based on stats (for once), but on observations about how much Crosby and Malkin HATE the Flyers. The Flyers made a mistake trying to play physically against the Pens and got beat at their own game.

    On a final note, you shoulda watched the 3rd, where you would have seen Fleury SHINE and steal the game for us with at least 3 HON saves.

    Still, the Pens didn't click 5 on 5, which is some cause for concern. All 4 goals were on the PP, which is cause for optimism.

  27. wayne2 says:

    I think the sens should sign Michael Ryder to give them a bit more offense at a decent price.Goaltending will be a problem again but i would either have a VERY serious talk with Emery and MAYBE keep him if he decides he wants to play hard(he does have some potential) or either buy him out.
    Let the younger players in and play.»Look at the POSSIBILITY of trading Spezza or MAYBE Alfredson(not a real good captain just a good player) and give the captaincy to Fisher.Sign Vermette,Meszaros and Kelly.MAYBE sign
    Lapointe and Commodore one for leadership one for psysical play.
    If those signed and no trades:
    Offense
    1-Heatley/Vermette/Alfredson
    2-Foligno/Spezza/Ryder
    3-Kelly/Fisher/Neil
    4-McKammond/Hennesy/Lapointe
    Defense
    1-Phillips/Volchenkov
    2-Meszaros/Commodore
    3-Schubert/Lee
    Goalie ?

  28. careyprice31 says:

    She appeared so suddenly. I believe she choked the chicken to get on RDS

  29. cartino says:

    True, the worse Alfie could ever do to Emery is bet him to eat a *****roach off of the dressing room floor again, you'll never see him grab Emery by the throat and wig out on him.

    If you have a solid team in front of you, you can win a cup with a solid (not a superstar goalie), obviously a superstar goalie helps your chances but it's possible, some examples:

    -Cam Ward and Roloson 2 years ago, not stars by any means but were playing well when Carolina won the c up.
    -Khabibulin was solid for Tampa's Cup, he wasn't a superstar in nets ala brodeur, luongo, etc.
    -Detroit won 2 cups with Mike Vernon and Chris Osgoode, again not really superstars but were solid between the pipes.

  30. i_know_hockey says:

    yea give it to Dany "the murderer" Heatley
    why doesnt he go drink n drive some more

  31. avsjoendryan says:

    Let’s just say i will not be scared to face them anywhere in the playoffs.

  32. HABSSTAR says:

    I need to know where you get your drugs!

  33. Radio says:

    Wait 2 weeks.

  34. Steel_Town says:

    As a Pens fan, the Caps are team I am the least afraid of.

  35. senators101 says:

    um… trade Alfie for what purpose? I don't care if he was the sh*ttiest captain in the NHL, he's the biggest bargain at 4.6 mil per year.  Barring injuries, he'll get 100 points per season.  Please give me one other player who is locked in with those points at that price.

  36. BruMagnus says:

    Another lackluster performance against the Bruins… lucky for them the Canes lost or their season would be hanging in the balance.

    I don't fear them at all anymore, now that they've lost Alf and Fisher.

    One of the Habs or Pens will be fortunate enough to play this depleted team!

  37. BruMagnus says:

    THE SENS have lost Alf and Fisher for literally the whole playoffs (since they'll be gone first round).

    They will 100% play either the Penguins or the Habs.
    Personally, I hope the Pens get them and the Habs get the Flyers and get banged up.

    The Caps will look to steal 3rd place out of nowhere all of a sudden!

  38. BruMagnus says:

    I'll take your silence as approval of what I said.

    Thank you.

  39. BruMagnus says:

    I agree, and have said as much for a while.

    However, without Alfredsson and Fisher and with their TERRIBLE play over the final half of the season, I think the Sens will be the easiest pray in the first round. Possible sweep material given their goaltending problems.

  40. BruMagnus says:

    good points.

    I disagree on the Bulin Wall though. Him and Luongo were considered the two best goalies on non-playoff teams for a WHILE… and then finally TB got good. he was incremental in that victory.

  41. BruMagnus says:

    That's a little harsh.

  42. 08-09 says:

    I dunno if the Sens will make it out of the first round. They'll be one scary 5-8 team though considering their talent. but its that work ethic and toughness that worries me if i am a sens fan.

    and of the characteristics i've just mentioned are wrapped up in the person of Jason Spezza – amazing talent but some very questionable on-ice decisions.

    as for the hit on Alfie – just remarkable.

    i live in the ottawa area so i watch and listen to the ottawa sports media (the worst in canada i think) and its just ridiculous. Bell's hit on Alfie was better (and not as late) as Neil's hits on Drury and Reich.

    even if they WERE comparable, the fact of the matter is if you are going to take the high moral ground on this issue to hits to the head or late hits or hits to players in vulnerable positions … you'd better criticize Neil for his hits too and not turn a blind eye to them because he is on your team.

    pathetic. this team simply doesn't deserve to win anything, especially with the fans and the media that i've seen/heard here in ottawa.

  43. 08-09 says:

    to answer the article's question:

    NOPE.

    and unlike Montreal, Ottawa is a franchise that is in the stage of its evolution that is about to see it go into a downslope.

    Montreal is contending NOW and still have a whole wackload of prospects that will hit or miss but at least they have a lot of them so the percentages are there.

    Ottawa has NOTHING in their system. people keep talking about Lee, Foligno .. and that is about it. the other players that get mentioned are hardly first tier prospects.

    if i am the Sens GM this offseason, i am doing a minor version of what the Leafs are doing – trying to add top tier prospects to a system that has none, trying to cut cap space, dump bad salaries. Only in ottawa's version, there are good contracts/signings that they should keep (alfie, spezza, etc.).

  44. senators101 says:

    We have a lot of good players that are locked in that will make us competitive for years.
    Spezza, Heatley, Alfredsson are all here long-term.
    Phillips and Volchenkov and locked in for 4 years (or something like that).
    Fisher is there for 4 or 5 years.
    Lee is our next wade redden (hopefully not this year’s wade redden) and will thus be cheap for a couple years. Fill up the roster with whomever, and we’re still competitive.

  45. BruMagnus says:

    The Habs are going to be in some serious cap problems in a couple years when Price makes $8-10 million and guys like Higgins and Kostitsyn $6-7 million.

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