After a long offseason, we now sit just one day away from the start of another NHL Season.
And sure, some other teams may be playing tonight, but for me, it starts when the Ottawa Senators start. Watching the games tonight would almost be like peaking at your presents before Christmas morning. I can wait one more day.
When the puck drops at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, sometime after 7:00 PM, it will be the start of the 20th season in the NHL for our beloved Ottawa Senators. It is a season full of optimism as a cast of young players get their first taste of life in the NHL. This team is rebuilding and a lot of the hard work that has already gone into the rebuild, will be put into action tomorrow.
Mika Zibanejad, the 6th overall pick and an Ottawa Senator for just four months, will make his much anticipated debut. At just 18 years of age, Sens fans will be able to see the future of this franchise first hand. Expected to skate on a line with the legend Daniel Alfredsson, it will be fascinating to watch the old guard and the new guard work together. More of the same on defence as tower of power Jared Cowen skates alongside veteran Sergei Gonchar. Calder Cup Champions Zack Smith, Bobby Butler, Colin Greening and Erik Condra will all be ready to carry over the success they enjoyed last year.
Veterans like Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek, Chris Phillips and Sergei Gonchar all went through the pains of last season and are poised for bounce back seasons. Acquired from Columbus this offseason, Nikita Filatov is a player with all the skill in the world who is out to prove his doubters wrong.
It’s going to be a fun season in the Nation’s Capital. Aside from the excitement of a new coach, a 20th anniversary and an NHL All Star game, the product on the ice is sure to be an exciting one. Counted out by just about everyone, the Sens are in a position to turn some heads around the National Hockey League.
The so-called experts may not give them much of a chance but when the puck drops tomorrow night, it’s just a hockey game. Two teams, six players a side, and all bets are off. With Craig Anderson in goal, and a number of kids and established veterans with something to prove, this Sens team is going to be competitive every time they hit the ice.
I’ve learned my lesson with predictions in the past but I will say this. The Ottawa Senators are going to surprise some people this season. Eastern Conference elite? Obviously not. But this team will be competitive and I think anyway, could be in the mix for a playoff spot.
It all starts tomorrow night. GO SENS GO!
- The Sens have a practice scheduled for this afternoon at 1:00 PM. Will provide updates on that as they become available.
- In case you missed it, the Ottawa Citizen has an excellent 20th Anniversary feature out today. I think my favourite piece from that was twenty years of great quotes. You can check that out here.