Thursday, 19 February 2015

draft dreams & wishful thinking

As a die hard Ottawa Senators fan, I have kept the faith alive that the team could turn things around this season.  They would go on a remarkable run to make this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.  And with that momentum, and perhaps a little luck, they could go on to make it into the 2nd round and beyond.   

However, our team continues to struggle, while teams ahead of us in the standings, keep winning.  I am now finally coming to terms with the fact that, for the second straight year, the Ottawa Senators will miss the playoffs.  So is there any hope?  If Senators are going to miss the playoffs again, one can only dream that they will finish low enough in the standings to have any real chance at getting the likes of Conor McDavid in this year’s draft.

Conor McDavid was granted exceptional player status by the CHL, which allowed him to play younger than the general rule, and as 15 year old, McDavid laced up his skates in the OHL (Ontario Hockey League).  He was drafted by the Erie Otters back in 2012, and ever since has more than lived up to the hype.  Think about these stats alone; McDavid has scored 29 goals, assisted on 54, for a total of 83 points, in only 33 games played so far this season.  If not for an unfortunate hand  injury, he was on pace to break multiple records that have stood for years and years.  And let’s not forget to mention some of his incredible highlights that are absolutely beyond words.  
Conor McDavid was a key member of Canada’s World Junior gold this past year.  And many people are labeling him as a ‘generational player’.  I can not help but to imagine what a player of his calibre might look like wearing an Ottawa Senators jersey.

The Senators have some excellent young talent, but McDavid would be a game changer.  He has already been line-mates with Senators Curtis Lazar for Canada’s gold, so they have some chemistry.  I can picture a line of McDavid, Lazar, and Zibanejad upfront, with Karlsson on point, and Methot at the back holding down the fort.  These Sens could run circles around the teams across the league.  This dynamic, young team could even become Stanley Cup Champions.  Ahem, yes, this is a nice dream, and unfortunately, it may be all I have left to hold onto for the remainder of the season.

Right now, the reality is that the Ottawa Senators are sitting in the 8th worst place, according to the league standings.  At this position they have a mere 6% chance of winning what has been called the ‘McDavid draft lottery’.  The Buffalo Sabres, along with the Edmonton Oilers, are almost guaranteed to finish last and second last this season, and therefore have the real shots at winning this year’s lottery.  It may be in Ottawa’s best interest to develop their young talent, giving these youngsters maximum ice time.  By doing this they could go on a run, and with that momentum gain some much needed confidence, along with valuable experience at the elite level.  Or, while the team went on to loose some more games, these young players could still gain experience and knowledge of what it takes to play at the  NHL level.  And in loosing more games, along with that little bit of luck, they could slip down as far as third from the bottom in league standings.  This would give them a better, but still only 11.50% chance to win the ‘McDavid lottery’, and the first overall pick.  A long shot, but one can always dream. 

.... in the meantime have a laugh at these:

 ... showing personality, Conor McDavid does his best Don Cherry,

 .... our rookie goalie Andrew 'Hambugler' Hammond gets a great headline in the Ottawa Sun,

... he even has a picture of the Hambugler as part of the custom artwork on his helmet,

 .... but the mask seems also has a Alfred E. Neuman twist on it, ( artist Jason Bartziokas)