Ottawa Senators vs Canadiens, What Has Changed Since 2013?


The Senators playoff run of 2013 was one most fans were excited to see. Despite not going past the second round, the regular season and first round defeat of the Montreal Canadiens as a #2 seed had many ecstatic about the future.

Now, after roster moves have been made and two years have passed, what is different and how does that impact the series going forward?

Paul MacLean Is No More

When Paul MacLean’s Senators rode past the Habs in 5 games, it was MacLean who was at the height of Ottawa’s popularity. Whether it was the war of words between Brandon Prust or Michel “no rispeck” Therrien, MacLean was a huge factor off the ice and was acknowledged by his season’s success with the Jack Adams trophy.

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Now, MacLean has moved on and while new coach, Dave Cameron hasn’t shown the same off-ice tactics MacLean used to be famous for using, the Senators still find themselves with a legitimate Jack Adams nominee in Dave Cameron.

Cameron has gone 32-15-8 since taking over the Senators and has found the trios and duos that have worked and led to a a miraculous comeback to the playoffs.

We likely won’t see the same off-ice antics we did in 2013. Before that’s what drove the Senators fire to win, whereas this time, the best team in the NHL over the past two months looks to play spoiler against the Habs in the two seed once again.

Roster Changes


"Notable Additions (MTL): Dale Weise, P.A. Parenteau, Sergei Gonchar, Tom Gilbert, Jeff Petry, Mike Weaver, Manny Malhotra, Devante Smith-Pelly, Brian Flynn, Torrey MitchellNotable Departures from 2013: Brian Gionta, Michael Ryder, Raphael Diaz, Josh Gorges, Rene Bourque."

The Habs have found a way to add to their lineup some considerable depth. Additions like Gilbert, Petry and Weaver make their defensive core strong, where up front players like Flynn, Mitchell, Malhotra, and Smith-Pelly create more depth.

Gone from 2013 are mainly veteran players. Brian Gionta and Michael Ryder were consistent point getters for the Habs in 2013, and both have since moved on as UFA’s. Diaz and Gorges have been replaced by the aforementioned depth defenders and others who have moved on were small pieces, the core remains intact in Montreal and has led them to recent playoff success.

An interesting tid-bit to note is that Sergei Gonchar, a 40-year-old d-man now finds himself in the other jersey as Gonchar played for Ottawa back in 2013. He registered 6 points in the teams 10 playoff games that year.


"Notable Additions (OTT): Bobby Ryan, Clarke MacArthur, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, David Legwand, Alex Chiasson, Cody Ceci, Curtis Lazar, Andrew HammondNotable Departures: Daniel Alfredsson, Jakob Silfverberg, Sergei Gonchar, Jason Spezza."

Ottawa’s roster, unlike Montreal’s has seen quite the internal turnover. Most of Ottawa’s success has been put on the graduates from Binghamton and young prospects. Stone, who played one game in the 2013 playoffs has become Ottawa’s best forward, Hoffman, Ceci, Lazar and others also lead Ottawa’s youth movement heading into this series.

Leaving the franchise since 2012-13 are 2 of Ottawa’s top 3 scorers from that season. Gonchar and Alfredsson were 2 and 3 in Senators scoring that season.

Jason Spezza has also moved off the roster, but didn’t play vs Montreal, as he only made his way into the lineup vs Pittsburgh in the second round after dealing with injury.


In a visual sense, here is how the probable game 1 lineups compare from 2013 to 2015.

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Each team has had a number of youngsters step up and develop into full time top 6 players. For Ottawa, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman have come into the picture and for Montreal, Gallagher, Galchenyuk and even Lars Eller have become more important players.

I think it’s easy to say that Ottawa’s roster has definitely improved, yet the same core remains in Montreal. The depth has improved in Montreal, but they’ll be facing a more mature, developed, and ready Senators squad.


The series Senators fans have dreamed of is here. Regardless of the finish, Ottawa is bound to put up a good fight, and hey.. they’ll always have 2013.

Next: Bobby Ryan Leads Young Ottawa Team Heading Into Montreal, Clarke MacArthur Gets Another Shot At The Playoffs