Ottawa Senators 2013-2014 NHL Season Preview and Predictions
USA TODAY Sports
Things will certainly look different this season in Ottawa with Daniel Alfredsson gone, but the Sens have enough in place where they should be just fine moving forward. This is a club that really has found a way to win as a team since Paul MacLean took over and that should continue this season.
Jason Spezza is the definite leader of the club now with Alfredsson gone, but he'll need help and most importantly some consistency from players like Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris. These are two guys that have all the talent in the world but they've got to be able to bring it night after night and not have so many invisible games during the course of the year. Mika Zibanejad had a strong year and his progression could do a lot for this club moving forward. The addition of Bobby Ryan up front gives the Senators a young sniper that the fans in Ottawa can't wait to see in action.
Erik Karlsson exceeded all expectations by returning before the end of last season and looking pretty good in the process. With a full offseason to strengthen his leg Karlsson should be back to Norris Trophy form this year. His ability to skate and make plays really gives the Senators a dimension that not a lot of clubs in the NHL possess. Marc Methot, Jarred Cowen , Chris PHillips, and Patrick Wiercioch will all be counted on to provide quality minutes on the backend.
In net the tandem of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner is a strong one, giving the Senators a leg up on a lot of clubs in the league that can't afford to rest their No. 1 as much as they would like. Ottawa has two guys who have proven to be a very solid team and goaltending should not be an issue for this club in the coming season. Yes, the team did a great job on the penalty kill last year but the goalie is always the most important part of that. Look for Ottawa's special teams to propel them to a big year.