Monday LNN: Letang Returns, Akim Aliu and the HDA, Ranking the Top Lines and more!

It’s your Monday edition of Links, News, and Notes

After a big win on Saturday against the Nashville Predators, the Ottawa Senators will be busy this week with four games. To help pass the time while we count down the hours until tonight’s tilt against the Anaheim Ducks, let’s take a spin around the hockey world:

“Stroke is a scary word,” Letang said Thursday. “I’m lucky to have the staff we have. I know I’m in good hands. I’ve been lucky that these things resolve on their own, can go back to a normal life. People know me well by now. They know that hockey is a passion for me. It’s something that is going to take a lot to drag me out of it.

At the same time, I know the danger. I know everything. I made sure I know all the risks I’m taking. If there’s none, I will resume playing. That’s what’s the case right now.”

I am definitely not a doctor, so I will have to take Letang at his word that there’s no risk to his healthy but I have to admit that the idea of him playing so soon after his stroke was a bit jarring to say the least. I hope this is a good news story, and that he has no further health complications.

Preseason bold prediction: They will make the playoffs

Outlook two months in: It’s a long shot

Analysis: I’m glad we are qualifying these as “bold predictions” from the preseason, because this one looks pretty foolish on my part right now. I figured Ottawa would get into the 85-to-90 point range and possibly flirt with a playoff spot. Everything would have had to go right in order for the Senators to actually qualify for the postseason, but given the immaculate summer vibes, I think a lot of us figured there was a chance it could happen. So far, though, we’ve watched everything go wrong for the Sens. They’ve been plagued by inconsistent play, which has made the playoffs a distant thought. We’re almost at the point where the Sens would need another Hamburglar run to qualify.

While Ian’s right that the play-offs are a pretty faint possibility at this point, I don’t think Ottawa is quite in Hamburglar territory. The overall picture, despite the win-loss record, is still pretty good. Lots of story to be written.

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