Ottawa Senators 2005-2006

TEAM NAME: Ottawa Senators

TEAM PAYROLL: $30 million

GENERAL MANAGER: John Muckler, third year with the Sens

HEAD COACH: Bryan Murray, first season with the team

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FORGOTTEN MOVES: Ottawa’s busiest time of the past two years actually occurred before the lockout began. It started the week leading up to draft day, 2004, when they traded third-line centre Radek Bonk to L.A. (who ended up trading him to Montreal) for a third round draft pick. This was a good move by the Sens, as Bonk, a former first round draft pick, never lived up to expectations in the nation’s capital. Another big move from the pre-lockout era came when the Sens signed future hall of famer Dominik Hasek. This move was met with both excitement and trepidation in Ottawa. Sens fans are excited about finally having a top tier goalie, but worried about whether Hasek can hold up throughout a full season. Hasek has only played 14 games in the past three seasons (due to a year of retirement, an injury and the lockout). To make room for Hasek, Patrick Lalime was traded to St. Louis for a draft pick. Backup goaltender Martin Prusek was also let go. The final move, and probably the biggest pre-lockout, was the firing of head coach Jacques Martin. The Sens brought in former Ducks GM Bryan Murray to head the team. This was important as Sens fans has lost faith in Martin, as he couldn’t get his team to deliver in the playoffs, especially against the hated Leafs. Where Martin focused on defence first, Murray will give the players a chance to use their speed and focus more on offence.

TEAM MODE: Have to win. Those three words sum up the Sens this season. Yes, they are a young team, and yes, they have some questions in goal. But they have been a young team on the verge of winning it all for several years now, and there have always been questions in goal. They are seen as a Stanley Cup contender, but have yet to prove it come playoff time. There are another three words that will have to sum up their season in a year: Beat the Leafs. The Sens could go a perfect 82-0 in the regular season, but if they lose to the Leafs in the playoffs, it would be seen as a disappointing season. They are 0-4 in playoff series against their provincial rivals, and it’s time they prove their worth in the playoffs. The new rules should benefit the Sens more than any other team this season. They are one of the speediest teams in the league, so the new two-line pass should really open up the game for them. They also had the best powerplay in the last NHL season, so if the parade of penalties continue throughout the regular season, the Sens will make the other teams pay for their indiscretions.

TO TAKE CHARGE!: There are lots of leaders on the Sens (Alfredsson, Redden, Heatley, Chara), but it’s time for young sensation Jason Spezza to lead this team. He should be on the top line of the Sens, and should be the top point getter. Yes, he’s young, but a lot of young players have been expected to lead their teams throughout the years. It’s a lot of pressure to put on a 22-year-old’s shoulders, but it’s up to Spezza to lead this team in both the regular season and the playoffs.

ON THE RUSH (OFFENSE): Two reasons why Ottawa will lead the league in goals: 1) 21.5%. That is the powerplay percentage of the Sens in the 2003-2004 season, when they led the league in PP. They also had the most powerplay goals (80), but was only seventh in powerplay opportunities (371). They also tied Detroit for the best home PP ( 23.6%), and third on road PP (19.1%). If the Sens get more opportunities thanks to new rules to remove obstruction, then expect more goals; 2) 262. That’s the amount of goals the Sens scored in 2003-2004, leading the league in that category as well. They led the league in first period goals (81) and second period goals (96). The Sens have a 67% winning percentage when scoring first. However, there are two reasons why the Sens won’t lead the league in goals: 1) Marian Hossa. The man was a machine for Ottawa. He was responsible for 17.5% of the team’s powerplay goals, scoring 14 of them, he also assisted on 25 others, meaning he accounted on 39 of the Sens 80 powerplay goals. Overall, Hossa scored 36 goals for the Sens the last NHL season. That type of offence will be hard to replace; 2) Shorthanded threat is almost non-existent. Ottawa scored only six shorthanded goals in 2003-2004. Martin St. Louis had 8 by himself that year, and only one team had less than five (Washington with four). For such a speedy team, they seem to hang back for short handed opportunities. With the team spending more time in the box this season (as will every team), they need to be more of a threat when killing a penalty. One final reason that’s a cause for concern: .346%. That’s the winning percentage of the Sens in one-goal games. They’re only .538 in two goal games, but .818 where a team wins by three goals or more. That’s not a good record in close games. To have a successful win-loss record, the Sens will have to get better in that area.

COVERING THE D-ZONE: This defence should be known more for its offensive punch throughout the league than what it is. In the 2003-2004 season, Wade Redden was tied for most goals by a defenceman with 17, while Zdeno Chara finished with 16. Redden finished that season with 26 assists and 43 points, good for 13th in the league. He also finished tied for first for powerplay goals by a defenceman with 12. Chara was also third overall for +/- with 33, and third in penalty minutes for defencemen with 147. The only defenceman who finished with a negative +/- (Todd Simpson) is no longer with the team. The defence also helped the Sens finished eighth in goals against, at 2.3 per game. Penalty killing needs to be worked on though, as the Sens finished tied for 17th with an 83.5% PK rate. Pretty much, the defence is the same as it was when we last saw them. One problem though, may lie with Chara. He is a tough, physical defenceman, but has already commented to the media that he thinks too many penalties are being called. He says players are trying to hit him, bouncing off, and he is getting called for the penalty. If he feels he has to change his game to adapt to the new rules, that is not a good sign for Ottawa. Wade Redden is one of the top defencemen in the league, and his name always appears on the list for world championships and Olympic teams. But when problems start occurring in Ottawa, his name is the first to come up by fans to get rid of. If there’s a big goal scored against Ottawa, he’s usually on the ice for it. Chris Phillips turns it on in the playoffs, and is a solid #3 d-man. Brian Pothier and Anton Volchenkov will get the job done. A prospect will also be rounding out the top six defencemen.

GUARDING THE NET: The Sens goalie situation has changed fully since the last time we saw them in action, so it would be useless to use stats from previous years. Gone is the starter (Lalime) and backup (Prusek). Instead is a new tandem, Hasek and Ray Emery. Hasek is the here and now. He is expected to come and help this team win immediately. However, there is some concern about how well his body can hold up over a full season, as he has only played 14 games in the past three years. Emery is the future for Ottawa between the nets. Highly touted, he is expected to be the number one guy in a number of years. If Hasek doesn’t get on track though, the pressure is on Emery to bail him out. It should make for an interesting year between the pipes for Ottawa.

TALKING ABOUT MY GENERATION!: When it comes to drafting, Ottawa is hands down the best team in the NHL. The amount of talent they discover throughout the draft would make any general manager envious. This is the reason why the team always seems to be young. When a veteran leaves the team, there is always a promising prospect to replace him. Due to the shifting of players on the Sens, Ottawa had a few opening for prospects. Surely, one of the most impressive rookie performances this preseason comes from Brandon Bochenski. This kid should make the team, and has looked very comfortable playing on the top line with Spezza and Heatley. He has already scored five preseason goals. Brian McGrattan is another prospect expected to make this team, but for different reason. McGrattan is a tough player, and not only did he lead the AHL in penalty minutes last season, he set a league record for most Pims. For years, the Sens have been seen as a soft team, but McGrattan will help erase that reputation as the season wears on. Finally, in net, there is Ray Emery. This goalie has been tagged as the franchise goalie for years. His time is quickly arriving, as he will be playing backup to Hasek this season. The starting job will be his within a couple of seasons. All three of these players are expected to be with the team for years. On top of this, the Sens farm team, Binghamton, was near the top of the standings last year, and have enough prospects to continue that trend this season.

PROJECTED LINES: With the addition of the prospects, the lines are taking shape in a way most people wouldn’t have expected before training camp. As it stands now, it should be:

Bochenski-Spezza-Heatley

Havlat-Smolinski-Alfredsson

Schaefer-Fisher-Neil

Vermette-Martins-McGrattan

Redden-Chara

Phillips-Volchenkov

Pothier-Meszaros

EXPECTATIONS: To be a top team in the regular season, and to go deep in the playoffs. Most of the players are on a short lease. Another year with an early playoff exit could mean big changes for this team. The fans in Ottawa are tired of losing to Leafs in the spring time every time they meet, so fans are expecting a big win over their rivals. The are expected to finish first in the northeast, top two in the conference and top five overall.

PROJECTED: Hard to say, but they should be pretty much what where they are expected to be. They should win the northeast division pretty handily, and will battle with Philly for the top seed in the conference. Of course, this all depends on their goaltending. Should Hasek falter and Emery not be ready to be a number one goalie, they may slip to the sixth or seventh seed. But provided Hasek plays his 60-65 games and is in hockey form, they should have no troubles.


164 Responses to Ottawa Senators 2005-2006

  1. 92-93 says:

    yeah don’t get all righteous about ottawa building “the draft and had to sign low-end players”. you did it because you had to and if you had the money that the Leafs, WIngs had, you’d do the same thing probably. but frame it your way.

    i never believed in that theory you mentioned. sure there are intangibles about Ontario players wanting to play for the Leafs but it gets too overplayed.

    but once again, you have to be carefull about making predictions before the puck is dropped on the season. the Leafs farm system is going through the early stages of recovery as we speak thanks to the changes JFJ has made. in a year or two it will be the best farm system in the NHL because they still have the economic advantage to sign the best scouts and development personel. right now, there are about 5 good prospects (Racine, Colliacovo, Kronvall, Steen, Wellwood) and a whole bunch of shit prospects. little-by-little, the leafs are going to get better in their farm system.

    if you are so happy that the leafs will fail this year because of this reality that their in, than it would make sense that you will be super-pissed that you won’t be able to say the same thing about the Buds in a few years. and, by the way, the way this cap thing works, the Sens are going to have to let a lot of their talent go in the next year or two because they won’t be able to afford to keep it all. so the pressure is ON for the Sens to win the cup this year or next or else pretty soon they will have a cup drought of their own.

    i think that for the position that JFJ was in, getting guys like O’Neill, Allison, Brown (all in their early-30s) makes a lot of sense down the road. Lindros – i completely agree with you on that one!

  2. intelligentscorpio says:

    Ottawa has all the ingredients to win the Cup and will be the team to beat this season. That does not rule out Pittsburg, Philadelphia in the East and Calgary in the West.

  3. muckies says:

    allisson, even if he is the worst locker room guy in the league now that Bure is gone, talent wise is good.

    but all the talk of Ottawa losing players is overblown. Yes, we will have to trade havlat next year, to bad, but we will get alot, and perhaps Phillips will leave – which would suck. but the leaves are in the same position. if allison is good, they will have to pay him,4 million, and Kaberle will want more cash, Lindros if he doesn’t get knocked out and gets 50 points will want 3 million. so all the teams are in the same boat.

    But you guys need a goalie – and a really good, who won’t bend with the pressure, top5 guy in the league. If vancouver is the worst goalie-city in the NHL, then Toronto, who think they have a good team, and then whose goalie doesn’t get 30 wins, will be like playing in a fish bowl with pirrana’s.

    As far as this year, i hope the Levaes make the playoffs, and i hope we meet, for me its way better then watching the Sens play any-other team.

    And of course, i need a vicotry so guys like you and me can finally start agrreing that Ottawa is the better team, and i can invite you to the stanley Cup parade.

  4. muckies says:

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  5. 92-93 says:

    lol

    yeah right, can’t wait till that happens!

    #1 the Leafs will NOT be in the same position because of all the contracts that will expire next year.

    #2 the goaltending situation is not as bad as some have projected especially after Racine’s improved play and, again, considering the amount of payroll the Leafs will have once all the current contracts end in the offseason. there will be some good goalies out there, along with a team of youngsters that have a year under their belt, along with a core group (McCabe or Kaberle, Sundin, O’Neill, etc.) that can keep them competitive.

    sorry, i am just not worried about my Buds.

  6. Mullet says:

    Here is your daily Leaf Report! Today Bryan Marchment has been let go from the club. Also, according to Eklund, the Buffalo Sabres who have a big Goaltending dilemma want to send Mika Noronen to the AHL. The only problem is that Noronen must first pass through waivers. And According to Eklund if he were put on waivers Toronto would immediately pick up the goalie as their back up as they have been unimpressed with JS Aubin and Tellqvist so far. Also the Leafs have sent JF Racine down to the AHL in what I would call a stupid move. If anyone deserved the Backup job this year it was Racine who should the Leafs what he could really do!

  7. habs79 says:

    You are right except Kenny Jonsson was traded for Wendel Clark, when he was traded back. The leafs got Clark along with Mathieu Schneider, and D.J. Smith, for Darby Hendrickson, Sean Haggerty, Jonsson and a lst rounder. Best part of that deal was with that first rounder the Islanders drafted a kid named Roberto Luongo.

  8. CLARKFAN17 says:

    I agree with your post on how the sens always talk about the Leafs. Of course they would, we are a legitimate original six franchise with the best fans in hockey. Didnt gretzky say that a while back? I think what really makes them angry is the fact that we fill up their arena. and that is understandable. i would be upset too if there were more Sens fans then leafs fans at the ACC. But I see it all the time, Sens fans spend more time talking about the leafs then their own club. Ive been to many Toronto games int he playoffs against philly, carolina and new jersey. And from what I see toronto fans treat the opposing teams fans well. On the other hand Ottawa does whatever it can to talk about the LEAFS. Whether it is banning Leafs jerseys at the Corel Center or making t-shirs that say Leafs Suck. Its ok I guess thats how sens fans deal with being beat by the Leafs in the playoffs every year. I agree with the jealousy part too. Perhaps, these sens fans are full of angst and regrets after having ditched their former club ( probably the Leafs) to cheer for the Sens in the early 90’s. We are not full of ourselves as Leafs fans we just know we have the greatest franchise in the game.

  9. habs79 says:

    To everyone bashing the leafs scouting in this thread. It doesn’t really suck. Kenny Jonsson and Danny Markov come to mind. Then there was Jason Smith and Steve Sullivan. I know they weren’t drafted by Toronto but they had no problem giving up on them and giving them away. Oh there was also Freddy Modin, wasn’t he traded for Cory Cross? How about Travis Green, again wasn’t drafted but was given away to make room for Nathan Perrot. Now we should all see how Brad Boyes does this year, see if he is another Toronto give away.

  10. habs79 says:

    I am a habs fan but I am a hockey fan, and I try to be as objective as I can. First off I want to see the sens and habs meet in the playoffs with a healthy Hasek. Cause with all the speed and talent on both teams and amazing goaltending, even though Ottawa clearly has the better defense. It will be amazing to watch. As far as the leafs and sens go, should they meet in the playoffs this year it will depend on Hasek. Every year the leafs always lose when they meet a team with a goalie as good as or better then their own. Joesph use to save their asses alot of times until they ran into Hasek or Brodeur. Nothing has changed now, oh wait it has Belfour can no longer play the puck behing the net anymore, which should at least double if not triple his work load this year.

  11. 21forsberg21 says:

    Better than Havlat and Alffy? C’mon, how many seasons has this guy played. Alffy is a proven vet and I’ll say that while hating the guy… C’mon, remember his Game 6 guaranteed win over the Leafs in the playoffs… HAHAH… 80pts… now you’re thinking realistically… I think 80pts is at the upper end of the number of points Spezza nets this season, but it’s realistic… not like some of these clowns locking him in for 100 points….

  12. habs79 says:

    It seems you are basing all your statements on one article by one writer. I’m sure that sens fans will love to beat the leafs in the playoffs, but the ultimate goal is still to win the Stanley Cup. I am sure if the sens accomplish this goal the fans nor the media, except maybe that one writer will care if they faced the leafs or not. One Toronto Star writer said the leafs could get Markus Naslund and Scott Niedermyer for $5 million each. You shouldn’t put so much faith in what one writer says.

  13. habs79 says:

    I’m sure Toronto would love to have Noronen, as he is a proven backup. However isn’t there a waiver draft? Where would Toronto pick? I’m sure other teams would look at Noronen. They sent Racine back so he could play all year instead of sit on the bench. They are going to give him a chance at the starting job next year should Belfour retire.

  14. habs79 says:

    I was just wondering, what makes you think the leafs are the greatest franchise in hockey? I would say teams like Detroit, Montreal, Boston, even New York could lay claim to that. Truth is there is no greatest franchise in hockey cause they all have had ups and downs, or did you forget the Ballard years when he knew he could sucker all his loyal fans by charging them top dollar to see a sub-par product.

  15. muckies says:

    why are you the greatest?

    because you are the 4th richest?

    or the 3rd most winning?

    or because none of the fans can get tickets to the ACC because they are all bought by people who aren’t leave fans and just want to drink red-wine?

    Or because Brian Adams sang the national anthem there?

    Or because Domi cheap shot neidermayer and ruined any chances the Leaves had at winning the cup in the next 10 years?

    Or because Gary Leeman slept with al Iafrate’s

    wife?

    Or has it been the years of disapointment recently. Lost in every Leave discussion is the fact the franchise has stated publicly every year that they are going for it, and they always fall short. and not even a Cup final to speak of.

    Oh-well you have a bunch a B-grade rookies and a 40 year old goalie with a back that is one Sens power play away from getting wrecked.

  16. dcz28 says:

    That question about the waiver draft was ask on the team 1200 in Ottawa on my way to watch the Pens and Sens game (Crosby’s first game in Canada and was a sellout 19 300 fans) and they said that there is no waiver draft anymore but they didn’t know what the order for picking up players from waivers…it is either the same order from the lottery draft or from the last season played that would go from last to first who would get the first crack at the players and either way he could get picked up before the Leafs get their chance…my guess is it will be the lottery draft order and Carolina would pick before the Leafs and i think they would grab him

    if its the lottery draft order it would go like this:

    1. Pens

    2. Ducks

    3. Hurricains

    4. Wild

    5. Habs

    6. Jackets

    7. Hawks

    8. Trashers

    9. Sens

    10. Canucks

    11. Kings

    12. Sharks

    13. Sabers

    14. Capitals

    15. Islanders

    16. Rangers

    17. Coyotes

    18. Predators

    19. Wings

    20. Flyers

    21. Leafs

    22. Bruins

    23. Devils

    24. Blues

    25. Oilers

    26. Flames

    27. Avalanche

    28. Stars

    29. Panthers

    30. Lightning

    So 20 teams would have a chance to get him before the Leafs so the chances of the Leafs getting him are slim to none…nice try though lol

  17. AVS4NYR says:

    You are talking about the same guy that donated some million dollars while playing for the red wings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get off the crack bro!

    Hasek is a class act.

  18. AVS4NYR says:

    So whats the Leafs excuse?

  19. 92-93 says:

    yes, well you see, i used one writer as an example. but if you are going to sit there and tell me the the ottawa media, the Sens themselves through their own comments (Murray’s recent remarks), and the Sens fans I know and their sentiments (I live in Ottawa) do not focus on beating the Leafs as much as they want a cup, then you are dreaming and don’t know what you are talking about. i just don’t come out and post something because of one article, i never have. its a very dumb thing to do. i always back my arguments up.

  20. 92-93 says:

    thanks for agreeing with my post earlier Clarkfan.

    just to let it me known, i made my comments out of all seriousness and not in spite toward ottawa fans and i don’t agree that the Leafs are THE BEST franchise or have the most storied history or anything else. that’s just silly. and the last sentence is a bit of contradiction.

    yet i do agree that the way some sens fans/player comments/media convey their hatred for T.O. in such an over-the-top way and the way they are always focused on what the Leafs are doing (whether they lost a game, traded a player, who they drafted) makes is painfully clear that there is some insecurities going on. but i refuse to go down the road of chanting ‘go leafs go’ and ‘we are the best.’ i love my team but they ain’t anywhere near ‘the best’ (they may have one of the best hockey cultures out there though). if the problem with sens fans is their insecurity than the problem with leaf fans is their blind faith in whatever the Leafs do (i.e.#567: “the Leafs have a good D this year!”) and the arrogance some fans display.

  21. muckies says:

    OHHHH,

    you live in Ottawa, i knew there was some enduring quality to you92.

    I could sense a sort of distant admiration for the Sens, and i think after this year you will be a convert. I never had to go through it, because i grew up a Habs fan, and as you know the Sens fan second favorite team most of the time is the Habs.

    There is every reason to convert now, before it was we had to many euro’s, or not enough Jam, but if you live in Ottawa and aren’t secretly thinking of cheering for the Sens, you’ve got some seriuos blue blood.

    You can try it just for this year, its good, you’ll suddenly start to hate all the Leaves fans you see when they look you in the face and say “Leaves Rule”

    They make it easy to convert, the more you question your aliegence, and get a few beers in you and admit you sort of like the Sens, the Leaves fans start to disgust you, there blind hockey knowledge you mentioned above and so on.

    The arguments used for Leave fan supporters can basically be found in the “Why i’m a dumb patriotic American” ie, you’re jealous cause we are bigger and richer, you’re jealous because we are the best, you’re just jealous because everybody wants to live here, you want what we have and thats why you hate us,

    does this sound like a long shot or does that sort of ignorance ring true in yer ears.

    (p.s. no offence to my Yankee friends, i love Dougie Weight)

  22. muckies says:

    OHHHH,

    you live in Ottawa, i knew there was some enduring quality to you92.

    I could sense a sort of distant admiration for the Sens, and i think after this year you will be a convert. I never had to go through it, because i grew up a Habs fan, and as you know the Sens fan second favorite team most of the time is the Habs.

    There is every reason to convert now, before it was we had to many euro’s, or not enough Jam, but if you live in Ottawa and aren’t secretly thinking of cheering for the Sens, you’ve got some seriuos blue blood.

    You can try it just for this year, its good, you’ll suddenly start to hate all the Leaves fans you see when they look you in the face and say “Leaves Rule”

    They make it easy to convert, the more you question your aliegence, and get a few beers in you and admit you sort of like the Sens, the Leaves fans start to disgust you, there blind hockey knowledge you mentioned above and so on.

    The arguments used for Leave fan supporters can basically be found in the “Why i’m a dumb patriotic American” ie, you’re jealous cause we are bigger and richer, you’re jealous because we are the best, you’re just jealous because everybody wants to live here, you want what we have and thats why you hate us,

    does this sound like a long shot or does that sort of ignorance ring true in yer ears.

    (p.s. no offence to my Yankee friends, i love Dougie Weight)

  23. canadaownshockey says:

    The sens would embarrass the Habs

  24. capouel says:

    You’re rigth.. That trade was a gamble.. I hope it will pay and from what I see in pre-season, Heatley may never be the player he should have been but he will surely be a star for years to come.

  25. CLARKFAN17 says:

    4th richest? who else beats Toronto? Forbes magazine ranks Toronto 2nd worth 280 million, with the rangers 1st at 282. 3rd most winning? I thought Toronto was second?

    The platinum seats are indeed sold to companies who in turn give them to suits. better than an empty arena. Playoff atmosphere there is unbelievable. you just have to go back to the blues and greens. What dissapointment are you takling about? we do fall short of the cup . so do 29 other teams. however, i believe the sens are the ones who constantly pledge to finally beat the leafs. Its always, “this team is much better than last years team”. but same thing every year. Didn’t your captain promise to beat the Leafs? and win the cup?

    Is he going to do it again this year? And belfour proved to you last time in the playoffs that he may be old but he can sill shut the sens out 3 games in the post season.

  26. capouel says:

    Yes.. and it will start this weekend..

  27. TheCoach says:

    In terms of passing skills and vision, Ribeiro isn’t close to Spezza. There’s a reason why one of them was drafted 2nd overall why the other was drafted 45th. Ribeiro is good, but Spezza is just more skilled.

    Secondly, the reason why Ribeiro scored more points last season is because he was playing on one of the top 2 lines. Spezza was stuck on the 3rd and 4th lines and he still managed to put up 55 points while he had to think of defense before he was allowed to try offensively. He scored 42 even strength points, which was 2 less than Mats Sundin.

    So, put Spezza on the top line with a world class goal scorer like Dany Heatley, give him 20 minutes a game to let him focus on offense and creating chances as well as powerplay minutes on the #1 unit, and he’ll score a ton. Add to that the crackdown on obstruction and more offensive game, and 100 pts isn’t out of the question.

    People forget how hyped up this kid was going into his draft, being compared to some great players. This year, he’ll finally get his big chance and prepare to be surprised when he’s among the top scorers in the league.

    And by the way, so far, Spezza has 13 points in 5 pre-season games. Say what you want about pre-season, but he simply looks incredible.

  28. garyroberts7 says:

    How can you take a shot at the Leafs goalie when yours is just a bad. If not, worse.

  29. Neely4Life says:

    Honestly, i am a sens fan, and we havnt been in the league long, and Toronto is the only real rivalry the sens have. I have never heard a Leaf fan say, well, the Habs are alright. The sens really have nothing to brag about right now, and until the beat the leafs, we will always talk about them. Sens really need some new heat with another team, they have some with philly, but we always beat them too. Wierd how things work out. Sens need to win somthing, or cross check drapper into the boards from behind, or somthign similar.

  30. 92-93 says:

    well this may suprise you, considering you know oh so much about me, but i do not like every leaf fan and certainly those who always seem arrogant and disrespectful of the rest of the NHL. to be a true leaf fan you HAVE to be respectful of the rest of the NHL because the rest of the NHL has done better then the Leafs franchise over the past 38 yeras. period.

    i admit that my comments about Sens culture is simply generalizations … something i’ve noticed and others noticed. and your comments about leaf fans are generalizations as well.

    for the record, i’ve lived in ottawa for less than a month. i’ve been to 2 exhibition games and i have seen the same kind of arrogance in Sens fans as i do in leaf fans. again, try not to get too virtuous over your hockey team and the people who cheer for them.

  31. Mullet says:

    I just received my recent Sports Illustrated issue today and it is the NHL Preview edition and it’s pretty ridiculous. Here’s how SI rates the teams in the NHL from #1 to #30.

    1.Calgary

    2.Flyers

    3.Sens

    4.Lightning

    5.Preds

    6. Canucks

    7.Red Wings

    8.Sharks

    9.Oilers

    10.Panthers

    11.Devils.

    12.Bruins

    13.Pens

    14 Blue Jackets

    15. Thrashers

    16.Blackhawks

    17Canadiens

    18Avs

    19.Isles

    20.Leafs

    21.Stars

    22.Ducks,23.Blues,24.Kings,25.Sabres,26.Wild,27. Coyotes,28.Canes,29.Caps,30.Rangers.

    How the hell is Toronto rated #20. In no way are teams like Preds, Tampa, Wings, Panthers, Devils, Jackets, Thrashers, Canadiens, Avs and Isle better then Toronto. Toronto is one hell of a lot stronger and deeper than those teams. Also, the issue is pretty crappy! Doesn’t look like they spent much time on it! College sport previews are better then SI’s review on hockey.

  32. habs79 says:

    only time will tell

  33. habs79 says:

    Toronto has depth at one position center. When Darcy Tuker is a top six forward your team has no depth at all.

  34. CLARKFAN17 says:

    just like montreal . Cause when you have koivu as captain there is something seriously wrong.

  35. habs79 says:

    Yes who would what someone that beat cancer to come back and play hockey as their captain?

  36. Neely4Life says:

    id say move the panthers down a bit, blue jackets too, move toronto up a spot or two, as much as i would to see them there, they wont be, and maybe move the kings up a bit too, about it really, i like the preds, think they can win their division, calgary is a lot of peoples pick to win the cup along with ottawa and philly. so yeah, not that bad, the panthers up there kinda bugs me.

  37. Neely4Life says:

    lol, kinda sad u said that the defending cup champions arnt better than toronto, i dont know how u actually consider your self a hockey fan, i would hope, that 99% of leaf fans arnt nieve enough to think the cup champs arnt better than them, lol. Id say the only team that was posted ahead of tronto that i might have some reserves with are the panthers, Isles, and blue jackets. Preds have maybe the best goalie in the league, if not, top 3, solid offensive D, and a good young core group of players. Detroit still has a strong line up, exspecially with datsyuk back, Thrashers, if they get Kovulchuk might finish ahead of the leafs, not sayin they will, but not out of the relm of possibility. Canadians, you culd toss a coin, id prolly put toronto ahead of them, but just barly. And the devils, well, i think they r in for a tough year, but they always play hard, and have some added motivation this year too. But, really, might wanna look into things a bit more with your brain, because im sure after that comment, its not working right.

  38. CLARKFAN17 says:

    I didnt know beating a disease was a requirement to become a captain in this league. I do think however, a captain needs to be talented, and not a wimp.

  39. habs79 says:

    Beating a disease is not a requirement but it shows he is not a wimp. Niether has his play shown he is a wimp he is always described as feisty full of heart and plays bigger than he is. As far as talent goes just the fack that you say Koivu is not talented is just your leaf bias. No talent is not a requirement to be captain. The captain is the vocal leader of the team, the one that when the team is down gets in that locker room and tries to motivate his team. Something alot of people say is a weakness of Sundin. He has been called a soft spoken captain unfit to wear the C. Although I agree that he is soft spoken I believe the C fits him well he is without a doubt the team leader. So don’t go ragging on Koivu with your leaf bias.

  40. CLARKFAN17 says:

    Everyone I talk to agrees that Koviu should not be captain of that team. I agree with them. There is no personal bias whatsoever.

  41. habs_punk says:

    In terms of passing skills and vision, Ribeiro is VERY close to Spezza. That is Ribeiro’s game, he had 185 assists in his first two years in junior. Both players have had their defensive abilities questioned, and both had solid years defensively in the last NHL season. I’m not going to say that Ribeiro is better than, or even as good as Spezza, but saying that he isn’t close to Spezza is just plain ignorant.

  42. habs_punk says:

    So because Daryn Duliba said it, it’s going to happen?

    Think objectively. 100 points is not possible for Spezza this year. If everything goes exactly perfect for him, he will hit 85-90 MAX.

    You’re absolutely nuts to think that he’ll hit 100.

  43. habs_punk says:

    By the way, the reason Ribeiro wasn’t drafted until 45th is because of his size. 341 points in 159 games in junior, give me any other reason Ribeiro wasn’t a first round pick.

  44. habs79 says:

    Well I guess the domination didn’t start like you planned.

  45. shuffleonin says:

    Great post! There are certainly enough concerns for Sens fans. Here are the main ones.

    Muckler made a bold move by hiring Murray who has failed to get top tier teams (Wsh and Det) past the 1st and 2nd round of the playoffs before. That was the reason the team released Martin wasn’t it? Hopefully Murray will have the breath of fresh air effect that Jacques Demers enjoyed in Montreal in 1993. But until April we won’t know if Murray is the right choice.

    And Hasek is their Achilles heel. He could make Murray and Muckler look like genius’. Those who question his willingness don’t know this elite level athlete. He gave Detroit their money back when his heart was questioned after he left an uncomfortable goaltending situation for surgery last season. He has a big ego and a lot of pride and wants his career to end on a high note. As he goes so go the Sens. His health will only really matter in the playoffs as I can see the team still making the playoffs even without Hasek playing a full season. He needs to be healthy come playoff time and play for them the full run.

    Otherwise they are strong in every other category. ‘Heart’ is such a hard thing to question on a team this talented and loaded with good Canadian kids. Heatley should increase the level of ‘heart’. Signing and keeping their stable of young talent will be a huge chore. Although they are not alone on that one.

    The Sens are primed for a big year. They need a little luck and a lot of hard work to make this the year they hoist the cup!

  46. Leaf_fans_can_blow_me says:

    Pittsburgh? Smoke another one loser.

  47. Leaf_fans_can_blow_me says:

    That would be too funny. I’d love to hear Brian’s lisp in action when he tries to say that one!

  48. habs79 says:

    You forgot the most important thing. One part having your goalie stand on his head.

  49. quick_stick says:

    I don’t think Ottawa’s goaltending is as bad as Mullet is making it out to be, but you’re really walking on thin ice talking about Belfour’s’ back problems. Hasek has quite an injury record and is a bigger question mark than Belfour. Ottawa’s advantage is that they don’t have as many quesiton marks in their forwards as the Leafs.

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