The recent departure of Meszaros got me to thinking… did we just witness an end of an era?
The senators faltered down the stretched last season and lost quite handily in four straight to exit the playoffs. Redden and Meszaros are gone in favor of Jason Smith, Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard for a new-look defense.
The league’s highest scoring team last year, Ottawa is nothing short of an offensive Juggernaut. But they were also 24th for goals against and they haven’t improved on the backend. Emery is gone and Alex Auld is in, but that doesn’t overshadow the fact that and aging Gerber is still penciled in at No. 1.
Gerber, 34, had good campaign last year playing 57 games. But, he was only the starter because Ray Emery was injured and is kind of a meat head. Gerber is a low-end starter; he lost the job in Carolina and lost the job in Ottawa. I’ll take a pass on Martin Gerber.
Chris Phillips headlines the blueline, with Volchenkov, Schubert and the newly acquired Picard, Kuba and Smith. A weak unit compared to those of the past.
Ottawa’s prospect pool is even more disappointing, they have Nick Folingo and Brian Lee but lack depth and top-end talent.
Ottawa has been regarded for its explosive offense, great power play, pretty good goaltending and good team defense during this century. Cup predictions and long playoff runs have become an annual event in the nation’s capital. They have been, and it’s hard for me to say this, a model for success around the league for years.
But, sport franchises work on a rollercoaster timeline, good for a couple, bad for a couple that’s just the way it is.
Yes, they will make the playoffs with their first line but, gone are the days of Chara, Redden, Yashin, Hasek and those long playoff runs against the Leafs and Sabres.
I guess my point is…..
Are the Senators still the powerhouse they’ve been feared as in past years? Not likely.
Have the Senators missed their chance for glory? I think so.