The Ottawa Senators are in an enviable position. At least that’s how I view their situation at this point in the season. Listening to some of the radio stations in the city, I hear fans and on-air personalities saying that they hope the Sens can turn it around this year. No, no, no, a nice winning streak is one of the WORST things that could happen to the team right now. I would call that “pulling a Toronto”; being out of contention most of the year and then winning just enough games to finish ninth or tenth in the Conference. That only provides false hope and gives the team the worst possible draft position without the reward of playoff games/experience.
No, Ottawa NEEDS to finish in the bottom three, giving them a lottery pick and a great opportunity to add another excellent prospect to their growing stable of young prospects.
Currently, Ottawa sits 29th overall and only one team (New Jersey) has scored less goals per game. The Sens have also had trouble keeping the puck out of their net, sitting tied for 26th in goals-against-average.
The team has dealt Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Jarkko Ruutu and Brian Elliott. They may very well deal Chris Phillips and Chris Neil. This year needs to be a write-off in order for there to be hope for the future.
The Senators are 2-0 since acquiring 29-year-old goaltender Craig Anderson. It was quite the debut by Anderson, recording a 47 save shootout shutout and after two games in his new threads, Anderson sports a perfect 2-0 record, a gaudy 0.986 save percentage and an absolutely filthy 0.48 goals-against-average.
If the pending unrestricted free agent signs with Ottawa, they will have their undisputed number one they have been seeking for several seasons. It would allow Robin Lehner time to properly develop and permit the team to walk away from the talented, but fragile Pascal Leclaire, who is also UFA after this season.
There has to be some reservations with Anderson as he had recently been placed on the Injured Reserve list by Colorado and missed two games for “personal reasons”. By his play since coming over in the trade, I’d say he’s put those troubles behind him. Only time will tell if it stays that way.