Apr 26, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brandon Prust (8) shots on Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) during the third period in the game six of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Charlie Arsenault, Staff Writer
Trying to figure out the key to success for a hockey team is both the easiest and most difficult thing to do. It can be as simple as saying “they have to score more goals than their opponent”, but it can also go as far as comparing a team to its divisional opponents in dozens of ways.
The Senators’ last successful season (in my opinion, of course) was 2012-13. They may not have finished on top of the standings, but the 2013 playoffs saw their first series win since 2007. Following a season where they beat the Montreal Canadiens in just five games, fans were excited to watch how their young team would perform in 2013-14, but to everyone’s surprise, not only did they not make the playoffs, but they were a bottom 10 team.
Fast forward one year. The Senators just came off a 99 point season, their highest point total since 2006-07. They made it back to the playoffs and played the Montreal Canadiens again.
With that said, I have no idea what the team needs to succeed next year. They went from being in the middle of the Connor McDavid sweepstakes to being the best team in the league. There was no in between. No one knows which one they are, or which one will step onto the ice next season.
We are all aware that when they’re at their best, the forward group has no problem putting the puck in the net. The same goes for Craig Anderson. When he’s his best, there are few goaltenders who outperform him. The biggest issue is still defence. They have a decent top 4, but no one past that should be getting any ice time. Period.
If defence can be improved, and Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman can recreate what can only be described as stellar rookie seasons, along with everyone else keeping pace with their totals from last year, there’s no reason to believe the Ottawa Senators won’t make the playoffs.
Next: Travis Valois, SenShot Staff Writer