Happy Fourth of July to our American friends.
The Ottawa Senators were the only team to qualify for the postseason with more goals allowed than goals for. They allowed the tenth fewest goals against while ranking 22nd in goals scored.
Losing Marc Methot in the expansion draft had to hurt a little, but there are in-house options on the backend that will help weather the loss. They will have to find a way to improve their 23rd-ranked power play from last year.
Looking at this team on paper, it’s difficult to see them as a playoff contender. Good thing the game isn’t played on paper. With Guy Boucher at the helm, Craig Anderson in the crease and Erik Karlsson, writing this team off prematurely would be a mistake.
Prior to last season’s disappointment (25 points in 62 games), Ryan averaged 21 goals and 52 points in his first three seasons in Ottawa. In his last three campaigns with Anaheim, he averaged 33 goals and 64 points.
Something sparked for Ryan in this year’s playoffs. He scored 15 points in 19 games, a 65-point pace. His average of 2:53 minutes on the power play during the postseasons was the second highest on the team. At a glance, his 2:24 minute average with the man advantage during the regular season doesn’t seem that much different, but it was only seventh most on the Sens. Fantasy owners in cap leagues and Senator fans hope that his playoff surge carries over to this season with the 30-year-old scheduled to earn $7.25 million over the next five seasons.
So, does a very good playoff run mean that Ryan is back? Depends on which Ryan you are expecting, the Anaheim Ryan or the Ottawa Ryan. Forget about the Anaheim version, that was a different time, but I’d also forget about last season’s 25 points. If you were to put the over/under at 50 points for this season, I’d take the over.
This is one player who has the talent to upset the apple cart (depth chart). In his two NCAA campaigns at Boston College, White scored 35 goals and 76 points in 72 games, though in his sophomore season, he had 10 less points in only two less games than the previous year. He’s played in two World Junior Hockey Championships, recording seven points in as many games and last year’s eight points in seven matches to help lead USA to the gold medal.
After his college season was finished, White managed to dress for two NHL regular season games and one playoff contest, but put up goose eggs. He also got in three AHL regular season games, scoring three points.
It’s hard to envision White cracking the top six out of training camp. The most likely scenario is that he’ll fit into the bottom-six mix initially or end up in Binghamton trying to prove that he’s too good for that level.
The top five are pretty set on the Sens and it looks as though Clarke MacArthur will round out the top six. We’re