After a bad 2015-16, the Ottawa Senators rebounded in 2016-17, with 98 points, making the playoffs. After getting by the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, the Sens got to double OT in game seven in the Eastern conference finals. But, a goal by Pittsburgh\’s Chris Kunitz ruined their hopes of being Eastern conference champs. With an already strong team, the Sens didn\’t make many offseason changes, but here\’s a look at what they did do.
Notable additions: D Johnny Oduya, C Nate Thompson, F Tyler Randell, F Max Reinhart.
Notable subtractions: D Marc Methot, C Chris Kelly, F Chris Neil, F Viktor Staalberg, F Tommy Wingels, D Jyrki Jokipakka.
Here are my projected forward lines.
Mike Hoffman – Kyle Turris – Bobby Ryan
Clarke MacArthur – Derrick Brassard – Mark Stone
Ryan Dzingel – J.G. Pageau – Colin White
Zack Smith – Nate Thompson – Alex Burrows
That first line can be deadly as long as Ryan has a bounce back season. Same goes with MacArthur and the second (it\’s more like is MacArthur needs to stay healthy). Dzingel and Pageau are coming off solid years, and are looking for a good 2017-18. White is looking for a solid rookie campaign. Tom Pyatt is the extra forward.
Here are my projected defensive pairs.
Dion Phaneuf – Erik Karlsson
Thomas Chabot – Cody Ceci
Johnny Oduya – Chris Wideman
Karlsson may miss the first few months of the season, and that can totally change their season. Chabot has been great in his junior career, and is looking for a solid rookie year. Oduya was a nice underrated signing for then. Mark Borowiecki and Fredrik Claesson are the extra defensemen.
At the end of his career, Anderson is still a starter. Condon is a good fringe starter. Andrew Hammond and Chris Dreidger are the extra goalies.
The Sens are a good team. But, their season relies on how severe Karlsson\’s injury is. If it\’s not bad, they\’ll make the playoffs. If it\’s bad, I think they\’ll miss the playoffs.