The Inferiority Complex
It was almost too perfect.
Just a day after Ross A posted an intriguing article right here on Silver Seven about the inferiority complex of being an Ottawa Senators fan, someone was determined to prove his point. In an article published at TheScore, Justin Bourne gave his predictions on what the standings will look like by the end of the 2015-16 NHL season.
There was just one problem, though.
@jtbourne @theScore the Sens are where? pic.twitter.com/GsjhD5enI2— Chris Hockin (@ChrisHockin) August 26, 2015
Yes, in true mainstream media fashion, Ottawa was left entirely off the Atlantic Division standings, and without any mention in the paragraphs above or below.
But surely, this was an honest mistake. Bourne would set out to right the ship and give the Senators a fair assessment and a couple sentences to go along with it.
@procdaddy Ha, somehow forgot to include them, figured I'd just add their spot and not try to wedge in an awkward paragraph— Justin Bourne (@jtbourne) August 26, 2015
Alright, so maybe Ottawa didn't get their paragraph, or even a few words, but at least they were given a playoff spot.
Wait. Nope. Sixth spot in the Atlantic behind the Panthers.
Never change, mainstream media. Never change.
Who Will Be the Senators' Top Forward in 2015-16?
This question can be looked at two ways.
One is by sheer point totals. The forward who puts up the best offensive numbers should be the most valuable up front. Option No. 2 could be to determine the best forward by overall impact. Their defensive play, performance in special teams situations and whether or not you want them on the ice with the team down a goal in the final minute.
Using either criteria, the winner will be Mark Stone.
On one hand, he was tied for the lead in forward points with Kyle Turris with 64, but Stone lead the team (along with Erik Karlsson) in points per game. He sat alone atop the team in points per 60 minutes played, though. That one wasn't even close.
Point totals aside, he's a solid penalty killer, the hockey world's best pickpocket artist and plays just as well without the puck.
I know I'm expecting even more success from a guy who just had a huge breakthrough, but we tend to forget about how minimal Stone's usage was during the first few months of the season. It wasn't until mid December that he started playing top six minutes. 82 games of Mark Stone playing 18-plus minutes each and every game is going to be a treat.
Oh, and don't worry about the sophomore slump. This upcoming season will be Stone's
25th fourth year playing in the NHL.
Who Will the Senators Be Missing Most Dearly?
As you all know, the nation's capital lost a few good men this summer.
Though other departures will prove less than detrimental to the Senators come October, the presence of two could be felt all too much if things don't go accordingly.
When Erik Condra and Robin Lehner were told to pack their bags, a good deal of stability and insurance left along with them. While Matt O'Connor has never played a professional game of hockey before and Andrew Hammond still only has a couple months in the NHL under his belt, if Craig Anderson has any sort of injury, the Senators will have their hand near the panic button.
As for the bottom six, losing arguably their best player will likely not go over well. Especially now that Chris Neil, Colin Greening and Zack Smith are getting ready for a possible reunion tour.
In the long run, say maybe three years down the road, Lehner will have likely blossomed into the No. 1 goalie he was destined to be and we'll be the lucky ones witnessing it within our own division week in and week out. But in the near future, a healthy Anderson will carry the load and the third and fourth lines won't be as reliable as they were before.
Point Condra. For now.
The Worst Game in (the part of Sens) History (I Have Witnessed)
The last two thoughts are brought to you by Sens Chirp for his two pieces on the best and worst games in Senators history.
I am thankful for being young enough that the countless playoff series against the Leafs didn't mean enough to scar me for life. I remember watching them. I just don't remember caring. After Patrick Lalime let that beach ball squeak between his closed legs, 8-year-old me probably just shrugged and left to go play with his Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
It wasn't until after the Stanley Cup Final loss that I began following the team more and more closely.
And actually, the worst game I can remember experiencing would be the last game Ottawa played. You know the one.
After two blown high sticks and an early whistle kept the Senators from taking the Canadiens to a Game 7, I was on the verge of tears. And not that I was sad the amazing run was over. It was from frustration. I felt cheated and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it except sit there and listen to Glenn Healy exclaim how incredibly difficult it was to beat Carey Price four games in a row.
I'll reminisce about the phenomenal season tomorrow. Right now, I'm sour. It shouldn't have ended tonight..— Callum Fraser (@CallumFraser18) April 27, 2015
The Best Game in (the part of Sens) History (I Have Witnessed)
I was at this one. I'll let Alfie do the talking.