Well, as we're advancing toward the semi-finals of the playoffs, I will be reviewing the seasons of teams as they're eliminated from the playoffs. Obviously, the last team reviewed will be the one that wins the Cup.
Now the third team to be eliminated from playoff contention: The Ottawa Senators.
My prediction: Third in the Northeast Division and on the playoff bubble.
The truth: They were the first team in the Eastern Conference to be eliminated from playoff contention.
So what happened?: Remember that move a few seasons ago to essentially sink all their money into one line and hope the supporting cast could generate around 30 points a season if they were given second-line ice time? Remember that guy who became dissatisfied with being there and was traded to San Jose for Milan Michalek and a guy who's not in the league anymore? Yup. Essentially inconsistent offense, injuries, porous defensive play, and absolutely brutal goaltending had these guys being good in essentially one area: toughness. You'd think there would be a wholesale change in regards to management and coaches, but apparently GM Bryan Murray salvaged his job by bringing in two goaltenders who actually may work out for them beyond this season.
So what's next?:Cory Clouston and his staff have been shown the door. There appears to be a solid group of players in place going into next season; Murray will still have his work cut out for him to bring the right players in while finding a coach who's system will fit the team in place. They could turn it around but it's gonna take some work.