You know what there has been a distinct shortage of heading into this regular season? Random, arbitrary, and difficult-to-know predictions! So the editors here at Silver Seven decided to get together and give our thoughts on a few of the biggest issues for the Ottawa Senators as we get set for the first game of the regular season tonight. That's right, tonight!
1. Who will be the Sens number one goalie at the end of the regular season?
Darren McLeod: Brian Elliott.
Mark Parisi: Tomáš Vokoun!
Ryan Classic: Robin Lehner. My other guess would be some sort of rental, like a Dwayne Roloson.
Peter Raaymakers: We'll see both with a shot at number one, and both will struggle to prove it's not too much for them. I think in the end, though, the slightly more consistent play of Brian Elliott will mean he'll be the number one.
2. Who will lead the team in scoring?
MP: Jason Spezza; this seems like a no-brainer.
RC: Jason Spezza, although if you go by preseason numbers, he'll have some competition from Chris Campoli and sniper Chris Kelly.
PR: Tweaking his groin isn't a good start, but I think Jason Spezza will only miss a few games this year, so he'll lead the team in scoring--by a lot.
DM: Jason Spezza will lead in points-per-game, but I'm not sure he'll have the most points at the end of the year...
3. Sergei Gonchar: 70.5 games. Over or under?
RC: Under. 68 games.
PR: If he's not way over, then he'll be way under. I think over.
DM: Over, but barely.
MP: I'll take the over. With confidence.
4. Who will get more points: Nick Foligno or Peter Regin?
PR: The way Nick Foligno played in the pre-season, I think he'll see most time higher in the lineup, and his scoring will demonstrate that.
DM: Peter Regin will. I know he had a mediocre preseason, but he has a much higher offensive ability than Foligno, will see more powerplay time and will have better linemates.
MP: Regin is more talented. Regin will get more points after Foligno gets bumped from the second line.
RC: I'm going with Regin, if only because I think he's more durable than Foligno.
5. Will Bobby Butler, Patrick Wiercioch, or Eric Gryba get called up for any significant period of time?
DM: Not a significant period of time, but all three will likely see at least a game. Butler will play the most out of the three of them.
MP: No, I don't think so. That would require a significant injury.
RC: If there's an injury at forward, Butler will be the fill-in. I think Wiercioch stays in the AHL while David Hale gets yanked back and forth through re-entry waivers.
PR: Bobby Butler will play about 25 games, and will look fine--but will still be adjusting to the pro game, so his scoring won't be that great.
6. Will Filip Kuba and/or Brian Lee still be Senators by the trade deadline?
MP: God, I hope not. But if I had to put money on it, I'd say yes.
RC: Kuba will be, Lee won't be. Wait, do the Binghamton Senators count as being on the team?
PR: Brian Lee will be long gone. In Binghamton, at the very least, but more likely somewhere else around the league.
DM: Yes, both will. The better question is if the Senators will hold onto their second round pick...
7. Where will the Sens finish in the Eastern Conference?
RC: I actually have them finishing third, not necessarily because of points, but because I'm taking them to win the division. No, really.
PR: I think they could very well finish higher, but I'll predict seventh in the East.
DM: 5th-8th. They'll make the playoffs, but they won't have home ice advantage.
MP: 5th in the Eastern Conference. Not quite good enough to edge out Boston.