(UPDATE 12:32 AM)- While the NHL has yet to release it's full schedule, reports suggest the Ottawa Senators will open their season on Saturday, January 19th in Winnipeg. The game against the Jets is expected to begin at 1:30 PM. Let the countdown begin!
Yesterday we talked about defence and how it will be a focal point for the Senators early in a shortened season.
Today we shift the focus to the forward group which is a little more predictable, assuming everyone can stay healthy in the early going. The top six forwards are all but decided and a number of veterans will be expected to come into camp and earn the remaining roster spots.
During a discussion on the Team 1200, Paul MacLean indicated that Jakob Silfverberg will start the season on a line with Spezza and Michalek. That trio could change in a hurry but it’s clear the coach is hoping to find some chemistry with that trio. All three have been playing during the lockout and should be able to hit the ground running when the season opens up next weekend.
That leaves a second line of Latendresse, Turris and Alfredsson. Sens fans have yet to see Guillaume Latendresse in action but the hope is he can add some consistent secondary scoring. He’ll be given every opportunity to do that in the early going skating with Turris and Alfredsson, a duo that had great chemistry at the end of last season.
In the bottom six, there is a little more room for flexibility. You’ll have Peter Regin, Zack Smith, Colin Greening, Jim O’Brien, Erik Condra, Chris Neil, and Kaspars Daugavins battling for the remaining six spots. You would think the team carries at least 13 forwards to start.
A total of 15 forwards will get invites with Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone expected to round out the list.
While the forward group appears mostly settled on paper, injuries should be expected in the first couple weeks of the season. With an abbreviated camp and no exhibition games, you can guarantee there will be a steady stream of guys coming up from Bingo.
What do you expect from the Sens up front? Would you change anything in the top six? How do you think the bottom six shakes out?