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Ottawa Senators 2014/15 Team Preview

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1Ottawa Senators 2014/15 Team Preview Empty Ottawa Senators 2014/15 Team Preview on Tue Feb 04, 2014 9:08 am

The Hockey News

The Hockey News
Division: Atlantic
General Manager: Kevin Krause
Head Coach: Paul MacLean

Last Year: An underachieving team last season, the Senators couldn't find a consistency to their game despite having arguably the best player in the world on their side and great depth up front. A lot of money was tied up in players that never ended up contributing much during the season.

This Year: A new GM and a new outlook. They’re still headlined by Crosby and Price, but the addition of Ryan makes their offence even that much more potent. GM Krause has cleaned up the roster and stream lined it. While it’s still a work in progress, he has made a lot of room on a squad that was previously taken up by non contributors. In tough against Detroit and Montreal in the Atlantic, the Sens will have to fight the whole way to prove themselves. A solid offseason and much better depth have them in a great position to do so.

Projected Depth Chart
Lupul - Crosby - Ryan
Umberger - Lecavalier - Erat
Cogliano - Vermette - Boyes
Wolski - Kelly – Eaves

Seidenberg - Shattenkirk
Sbisa - Klesla
Orlov – Ceci

Price - Lack

Prospect Watch
Troy Rutkowski (22): Underrated in most circles, Rutkowski possesses a solid shot, skates well and can contribute at both ends of the rink. He'll need to show the organization that he can be relied on this year at the AHL level.

Dalton Smith (22): He'll likely never crack the top two lines but Smith knows his skill set. A solid skater who looks for every opportunity to finish a check, Smith has a sneaky good shot and is responsible in his own end. Like Rutkowski, this will be his season to really show case his talents and could be in line for a call up if the need arises.

The Upside: The new GM has revamped the roster and added some key pieces to both the top and bottom 6 up front. The D group is solid and while none are spectacular offensive forces yet, the potential is there and could start showing itself more this season. Having Price and Crosby in the lineup give them a chance any given night and the supporting cast will look to take a lot of the pressure off of those two having to carry the team more often than not.

The Downside: It’ll be interesting to see if Krause is done tinkering and willing to let this version of the lineup succeed or fail as is. Playing in a loaded division makes life harder and it’ll be tough for them to deal with the physical game that the Wings and Canadiens like to play. They’ll need older vets like Lecavalier, Umberger and Boyes to not fall off and for younger players like Sbisa and Ceci to step up. If either side of that equation falter, they could be in for a long season.

Our Prediction: 3rd in the Atlantic, 4th in the East

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