With the start of a new season now just four sleeps away, we can begin to look at the year that is to come for the Ottawa Senators.
Predicted by many to be near the bottom of the standings, the Sens will need a fast start if they are going to prove some of their doubters wrong.
The opening weekend figures to be a tough one for the Senators as they take on a perennial powerhouse in the Detroit Red Wings on night one and are in Toronto for a Hockey Night in Canada match up just 24 hours later.
The month of October will see the Sens play twelve games in total, seven at home and five on the road. Road games include stops in Detroit, Toronto, Washington, Carolina and New York. The Sens open their home schedule with a game against Minnesota and will also play host to Colorado, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Columbus, Florida and Toronto.
Every game is going to be a challenge for a young Sens team but those look like some very winnable games on home ice. The month of November will see Ottawa play 8 of 12 on the road making a fast start that much more important.
If the Senators are going to surprise some people this year, they will need to get out the gate fast and it all starts in Detroit on Friday night.
- Mika Zibanejad, David Rundblad and Stephane Da Costa have all avoided the latest round of cuts but with a few players battling injuries, there are still roster decisions that need to be made. Zibanejad seems like a lock to at least get the nine game audition while the status of the other two likely depends on the health of the injured Sens.
- Sens skated this morning and Rundblad looked to be the odd man out on Defence. Pairings included Phillips-Lee, Kuba-Karlsson and Cowen-Gonchar.
- Forward combinations were as follows, Michalek-Spezza-Filatov, Greening-Zibanejad-Alfredsson, Foligno-Smith-Neil, Condra-Konopka-Butler. Da Costa skated as the 13th forward.
- Peter Regin, Jesse Winchester and Matt Carkner were all absent at the skate this morning.