Figured seeing as the NHL Awards are just about ready to be handed out, might as well do a little award giving of our own to the team we cover! This has been a very interesting season for the Ottawa Senators and we have seen many things happen. To make this interesting I am going to include some positive categories and some negative ones.
Patrick Wiercioch – This may surprise some of you but I truly believe he has made the most strides this year. After playing 8 games for the Senators two seasons ago, he did not play one last year because of an injury he sustained that held him out for a considerable amount of time. He was once viewed as a top tier prospect but struggled in the past 2 seasons and looked like he may not pan out. But after the injury he came back and seemed to drastically improve making better decisions with the puck and being that puck mover he was once believed to be. Like his game and should improve even more next year!
Cory Conacher – When the trade was made to ship out Ben Bishop, it looked as if the Sens may have stolen a player out of Tampa. But as the season went on we came to notice that this player needs more experience to become a great player. Has a bright future but needs to improve in some areas to be more effective.
Craig Anderson – Andy put up amazing numbers and would probably put up a pretty good fight for the Vezina had he not had that ankle injury. The Sens were a different team when he was in nets and stole a few games for his team. He was a difference maker when he was playing and stepped up his game to a whole new level this year.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau – This is an easy one, he played so well that many expect him to be a mainstay in the line-up come next year. Showed some flashes of great skill in a couple games. You could tell he was a little inexperienced in a couple instances but his speed was deadly at times and that’s what makes him dangerous.
Rookie of the year:
Mika Zibanejad – This was a tight one, could have also gone with Jakob Silfverberg but I feel Mika scored some big goals for us and has the potential to really be a force for his team. His speed and shot made some teams have some fits and some had a hard time containing him. He should only get better with age and playing time, along with his Swedish colleague.
Peter Regin – His time ina Sens uniform is most likely over after this disappointing campaign. After that amazing performance in the playoffs against the Penguins in 2009-2010, many had hopes for him to become a regular in the Sens line-up but injuries derailed his career and he has yet to find that spark he once had.
Kyle Turris – Turris seemed to step up his game against the Habs. He once again scored some big goals for his team and seemed to be more of a difference maker in the playoffs, scoring 9 points.
Marc Methot – Who knew he would help the Senators this much when the trade for Nick Foligno was made. Methot and Erik Karlsson were a force when they were paired together and should be again next season when Karlsson comes back at full health.
Pretty rare awards are handed out for this Ottawa Senators team and players like Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson do not receive any. This is what happens when your team encounters so many injuries. Also As much as we all love our captain I believe the choices made were the right ones, which is why you don;t see his name there. He was still a very effective player though and still deserves top 6 minutes!