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The Puck Stops Here

Ottawa’s Rookie Depth

The team with the worst regular season record that has qualified for the second round of the playoffs so far is the Ottawa Senators.  They did so by defeating the Montreal Canadiens four games to one.  While this result is not entirely a surprise, as the Sens finished seven points behind the Habs in an injury-filled season.  With Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson back in the Sens line-up they are clearly a better team than they were through much of the regular season.  There is another reason for the Sens improving over the course of this season that many have overlooked.  They have a strong group of rookie forwards who are making a big impact with the team.  Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Mika Zibanejad, Cory Conacher and Jakob Silfverberg all have three points or more in their five playoff games so far.  Ottawa has developed new depth at forward during the course of this season and that is a strong reason they are better now than they were in the regular season.  This clearly looks good for the future of the franchise.

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Bossy_Rules's avatar

Good point.  Rookies are still on the steep leg of their development curve and they can often be significantly better in the second half of the season.  Also adjusting to a new level of play can take 20 or 30 games sometimes so in addition to developing and getting better they are acclimating to the the new league.

Posted by Bossy_Rules on 05/12/13 at 07:02 PM ET

Da lil Guy's avatar

Patrick Weircioch and Eric Gryba have also stepped up on defence. Andre Benoit deserves some credit as well, though he hasn’t yet appeared in the playoffs. After injuries to Cowen, Karlsson and Lundin they were a very important part of keeping the Senators competitive.

Posted by Da lil Guy from Guelph, Ontario on 05/12/13 at 07:35 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

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