Monday, September 17, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: Ottawa Senators

Those are some serious costumes.
Quick hits
Odds for the folks at gambler's anonymous

23 to 1: Bryan Murray will have another expletive laced tirade posted on YouTube. I know I'm hoping for it.

35 to 1: Dany Heatley ties his own franchise record for goals yet again.

3 to 1: Spartacat continues to creep out little children.

Obligatory serious analysis

Coming off a loss in the Stanley Cup Finals can be one of the hardest things a franchise has to regroup from. Calgary rebounded off of their loss to Tampa Bay by finishing third in the West two years ago (but they had an extra year to recover thanks to the lockout). Last season, the Oilers fell flat on their collective faces and wound up 12th in the West. For the Senators, they look to be just as much of a threat to win the East as they did last year, save for the fact that they will have more than a month less rest than many of their opponents.

The Sens had a very quiet off-season, as Niko Dimitrakos was their only notable addition. Dimitrakos played all of five NHL games last season in Philadelphia. Departed are Mike Comrie and Tom Preissing. Both were key ingredients to Ottawa's playoff run, and Preissing was arguably the team's best defender all season, as he posted 38 points and a plus 40 rating in 80 games. During the playoffs, the pair combined for 13 points and a plus two rating.

The main issue for the Sens this season will be a fairly simple one; can they repeat their run to the Finals in a much improved Eastern Conference? The Sens are essentially the same team, albeit one that's slightly worse thanks to the losses of Preissing and Comrie. Looking around at the East, there are a lot of teams
that made serious strides to become contenders and many contenders who improved their already solid on-ice product. Ottawa? Not so much. They're going to be a good team again this year, and thanks to the collective raid on Buffalo's players, Ottawa is undoubtedly the favorites to win the Northeast this season. Nonetheless, only time will tell if they have the energy to make another stretch run again this June.

Prediction: Ottawa is certainly the odds on favorite to take the Northeast crown this season and secure themselves a top 3 finish in the East. They conference title will not be as easy a win. The Atlantic is going to give them a lot of competition, and therefore I think Ottawa will take the second overall spot in the Eastern Conference.

The best looking ice girls in the Ottawa
Time for another stretch; Sarah Chalke, of Scrubs fame, is from Ottawa.

Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay

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