Of all the teams that were eliminated from the postseason this year, the Ottawa Senators may have the biggest reason to be optimistic about their future. With a loaded farm system and a terrific financial situation, the outlook over the next several years is a great one.
That doesn’t mean that they can’t stand to improve. This team will be looking to upgrade in a couple of different areas over the course of this summer. Of course, the numbers indicate that there will be much less of a focus on the blue line and goaltending than on up front.
The Senators have already made it no secret that they want to upgrade their offense. General manager Bryan Murray already said that during his end-of-year press conference, as he flatly explained that the Senators need to score more goals. Not that it could get much worse.
In fact, without any real additions, we should see the numbers go up for the Senators. For one, they’ll be healthy. Jason Spezza should be back at 100 percent after a season in which he battled multiple injuries. Having Erik Karlsson back on the blue line will also help those numbers go up.
It’d be hard to imagine that the Senators would find success at less than a seven percent clip in shots next year. That’s not a typo, the Senators, as a team shot just seven percent in 2013. Which played a heavy hand in the Senators averaging just 2.33 goals a game, coming in 27th in the league.
Young players, such as Cory Conacher and Jakob Silfverberg, will take steps forward. The team will be healthy, from Spezza, to Milan Michalek, to Karlsson. Murray will make additions to the roster to help improve the offense. This team should see a steady increase in goals once the 2013-14 season gets underway.