NHL Power Rankings Week One: Capitals, Lightning, Predators, And Ducks Are Favorites

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Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #19 – Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators captured the hearts of hockey fans everywhere with their magical Cinderella run into the playoffs. Let me be the one who kills this fairy tale by saying that’s not likely going to happen in 2015.

STRENGTHS: They have two excellent defensemen in Erik Karlsson and Mark Methot. Karlsson has won two Norris Trophies. Methot obviously isn’t at the same level as Karlsson, but he complements him very well. The Senators rely heavily on those two to lead them. They flourish despite facing not so ideal situations.

I’m a huge fan of Craig Anderson. He’s one of the best goalies in the league when he’s healthy. Andrew Hammond is a very capable backup. The Senators are kind of like the Stars. They have two above average goalies. The difference? The Senators aren’t spending a boat load of money on either of them.

WEAKNESSES: The Senators rely way too heavily on Karlsson and Methot. That’s not necessarily an issue because they can handle it. What makes it an issue is they struggle to get production from their other defensemen. It’s one thing to ride two stallions until they can’t take it anymore. It’s quite another to not have any other horses.

They have some talented young forwards in Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, and Curtis Lazar. They don’t have that much after those guys. Anderson is prone to injuries and Hammond has a very small sample size. That’s not ideal for a goalie tandem.

OUTLOOK: Are they going to contend for the playoffs? Absolutely. I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs because they need too many things to go right for them to do it. I think they also rely too heavily on their top guys. If one of them goes down, things could get ugly.

Next: #18