Regin – O’Brien – Condra
Hoffman – Daugavins – Noesen
There are a lot more questions surrounding The Ottawa Senators bottom 6 positions. It’s a bit uncertain how it will be played out, with several players potentially on the bubble (O’Brien, Condra, Hoffman, Daugavins), but depending on the opponent, The Senators may opt to switch their lineup accordingly on any given game night.
One thing is certain though, Zack Smith will be starting the year centering our 3rd line. We should anticipate Smith to build off the season he had last year. He was signed to a 4 year contract extension last year worth $7.55 million ($1.88 cap-hit). He’s shown a bit of promise last year with his ability to create scoring opportunities by cycling the puck down-low. He’s a real rugged player who’s willing to sacrifice his body in front of the net, but he needs to learn to be more discipline and cut down on unnecessary penalties (24 minor penalties last season). Paul MacLean may use Erik Condra alongside him as the two had some good chemistry in the past, having played together since their days with the Binghamton Senators. Although, Erik Condra, could be in a tough position this season because he may have to share playing time rotating with Kaspar Daugavins and Jim O’Brien depending on our opponent.
Peter Regin, is somewhat of an unknown case heading into this season (Guest Blogger, Kris Kok wrote a great article on him recently). He’s shown promise in the past that he can contribute offensively, yet his numbers aren`t indicative of a top-6 player. He’s impressed us all in the past and you can’t help but think there is something there, but I’ve come to accept what type of player he is now. He’s your utility player on your fantasy team. He’s the 6th man coming off the bench in basketball. He can be slotted anywhere in the lineup from 1st line LW to 4th line Center. He takes faceoffs. He plays a 200 foot game. Kills penalties and plays on the second unit of the powerplay. He’s just that. He’s Peter Regin, he does everything but always leaves you wanting more. Colin Greening is a player that will make his way onto the top-6 sometime this season if Silfverberg or Latendresse fail to impress, I’ve touched on this some more on my last article.
There is a lot of flexibility in the lineup with many variables that will change the outcome of the lineup. Hoffman is in a bit of a tough position, He`ll have to compete against the likes of Condra, Daugavins and O’Brien for the last position. At this stage of his career I think he`s very close to becoming an NHLer, but I don’t think we will see him on opening night. Ideally, management will want to see him produce on a consistent basis with the Binghamton Senators before making the transition to the NHL.Ottawa’s first round pick (21st overall in 2011), Stefan Noesen doesn’t seem to have a chance and will most likely be re-sent back to junior to finish the season off with the Plymouth Whalers. He’s currently serving a 10 game suspension and the Sens wanted to give him some experience playing against some pros. They also didn’t want to recall too many players from Binghamton, in fear that the team would struggle without many of their top players.
I believe Kaspar Daugavins will be the 13th player watching from the press-box on opening night. He will get some games though depending on who we play. He’s still an asset and can contribute by killing penalties and playing a responsible defensive game. He will be relied upon as a spark play and energy player when the team needs a boast. Here’s what I think our bottom 6 will look like on opening night.
Greening – Smith – Condra
Regin – O’Brien – Neil