Senators' hot start bodes well for playoffs

When you're only seven games into a new season, it's very important not to get too high on successes or too low on defeats. Just as it seems unlikely that the Colorado Avalanche will keep playing out-of-their-mind hockey to lead the Western Conference, it's also highly unlikely that the Toronto Maple Leafs will go the whole season without a win (although most Senators fans would probably hope that would continue). So any Ottawa Senators follower who's trying to plan out the team's Stanley Cup parade based on their 5-2 start needs to take a deep breath.

When drawing in that deep breath, though, there's one positive statistic you can keep in mind: Of the eight Eastern Conference teams in a playoff position at this time last season, seven went on to make the playoffs, while only one (the Buffalo Sabres) fell out of the top eight. So it's all well and good to be optimistic, but make sure you're cautiously optimistic.

(Read more... )

On October 20, 2008, the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference were the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, and Boston Bruins. Although there was plenty of movement within those eight, only the aforementioned Sabres fell out of the playoffs (in favour of the Philadelphia Flyers). There was a lot more changes in the Western Conference (four teams fell out of playoff spots after Oct. 20), but the bottom line is this: A hot start gets you on the right track, and it's easier to stay in a playoff spot than it is to work your way into one.

For an Ottawa Senators team looking for a serious rebound from a disappointing playoff-less season last year, it's definitely a good sign. But there's plenty of danger in making any assumptions, including the fact that the Senators have to date defeated just one of last year's playoff teams (the Canadiens), and the fact that there's still 75 games left in the regular season. Nonetheless, it's a good place to sit.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Join Silver Seven

You must be a member of Silver Seven to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver Seven. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker