Musthafa Ebadi
Exciting Times Ahead for Ottawa Senators!
by Musthafa Ebadi on August 25th, 2011

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Pascal Dupuis put the puck behind Pascal Leclair on Saturday April 24th at 9:56 of first Over Time the Ottawa Senators' season ended abruptly. It was heart breaking since Ottawa had a 3 goal lead mid way through second period and started the third period with a two goal cushion.

The amateur ending of the season can be attributed to lack of personnel and lack of experience this spring.

First, Ottawa was without the two of its top six forwards in Milan Michalek and Alexi Kovalev which left huge holes in first and second lines respectively. Second ten of the twenty players on the roster had between 0 to 9 games of playoff experience including both goalies, four of the six defense, and the complete 4th line.

Both the above factors can lead to a sweep series of playoffs for most of the teams however Ottawa not only managed to drag the series to 6 games, but they did it against the Stanley Cup Champions, and two out of their four losses were one goal games!

Obviously for any hockey fan playoffs elimination is a disappointment however the early exit should not underscore Ottawa Senators' achievements this season (refer to my previous article) or over shadow the fact that moving forward Ottawa will be a much better team.

Looking back I believe that Ottawa Senators achieved more than majority of the experts had expected and/or predicted. To add icing on the cake Ottawa is a much better hockey organization today than they were at the same point last year and they are very well set for the years to come since:

• Ottawa has 17 of its 20 man roster under contract for next two years
• Fifteen of Ottawa's current players haven’t reached their prime yet (as evident from their lack of experience in playoffs)
• Both goalies (Pascal Leclaire and Brian Elliot) showed the upside and promise of being better next year – each of them yet to reach their prime
• There is a surplus of young and NHL capable defense including Erik Karlsson, Brian Lee, Jared Cowen, and Patrick Wiercioch
• There are four legitimate forwards on the team with no roster spot including Shean Donovan, Jonathan Cheechoo, Ryan Shannon, and Zack Smith
• For the first time in five years the Binghamton Senators are full of NHL caliber talent including Robin Lehner (G), Mike Brouder (G), Patrick Wiercioch (D), Eric Gryba (D), Bobby Butler (F), David Dziurzynski (F), Colin Greening (F) to name few
• The coach (Cory Clouston) has completed his first full season in NHL and he will only become better with experience
• There is a well defined system that coaches and management have identified which is always key to success of any organization
• Last but not the least an owner in Eugene Melnyk that has always shown (through his actions) that he is committed to win and make the team better

Overall it’s an encouraging time in the Ottawa Senator’s franchise so the organization, the team, and the fans should look forward to exciting times ahead with this hockey club.

I am anxiously awaiting the next season. Are you?

Thanks for reading.

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