The Opossum-Palooza

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9.07.2006

NHL Preview: Ottawa Senators

Part number four of our thirty part series previewing the fast approaching NHL season. This time around, its all about the Ottawa Senators.

The original Ottawa Senators existed as a very succesful franchise from 1901-1934, winning the Stanley Cup ten times before moving to St. Louis in '34 and folding the following year. Following the Senators' departure, the country's capital city spent many years without a team participating in the national pastime. Sound familiar?

After an absence of 58 years (compared to a measley 33 for baseball in Washington, DC) the Senators franchise was revived in 1991. Much like the current Washington Nationals, the expansion Senators sucked all kinds of ass, finishing their inaugural season with a record of 10-70-4, which was just shy of the all time worst 1974-75 Washington Capitals, who finished 8-67-5 in their first year. Much like the Capitals of the late 80s and early 90s, the Senators have since turned it around to become a perennial contender during the regular season (they are going for their tenth straight playoff appearance in 06-07), only to flame out come playoff time, usually at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Will this year be the year they finally break through to the Stanley Cup Finals? Probably not. After losing Zdeno Chara to Boston and Dominik Hasek to Detroit's injured reserve this team is significantly weaker than the one that was bumped by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round. However, goaltender Martin Gerber could be poised to have a breakout year, in which case the Sens' potent offense could be enough to carry them to considerable postseason success.

Need more Senators blogging? Check out Senators Underground.

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