What made us so good in the early 2000s?

Discussion in 'Ottawa Senators' started by Asquaredx2, Nov 17, 2013.

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  1. Asquaredx2

    Asquaredx2 Registered User

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    (I didn’t bother searching for any similar threads, so I apologize if this question has been posed before, but it’s 3 o’clock in the morning and I can’t sleep so…it is what it is.)

    I started following the Sens in 2002-2003. This was in the middle of a heyday that lasted roughly until Heatley’s shoulder injury against Detroit in 2007-2008. During this period the Sens were regularly contending for the Presidents’ Trophy and finishing north of 100 points. So I’m kind of surprised in thinking back to these teams to find that the current roster seems to stack up favourably in many ways.

    A) The goaltending is as good as it’s ever been. Lalime could be money in the playoffs (some of the time) and Hasek had a wonderful 40some games for us, but otherwise I have no problem putting Andy and Lehner up against an Emery/Gerber tandem.

    B) The centre depth is as good as it’s ever been. Granted I didn’t really get to see Yashin in his prime so I can’t compare to that era. But otherwise our current 1-2 punch of Spezza and Turris is better on paper than White/Bonk or Spezza/Fisher. Smith has underperformed this season but he has shown he can be a very good third-line centre and then we have Zibanejad/Grant/Pageau/JOB to add to the mix. Are they as good options as Smolinski or Vermette? Perhaps not, but I don’t think they’re dramatically worse…

    C) The coaching is as good as it’s been for some time. MacLean’s Jack Adams speaks for itself but he’s also proven himself adaptable turning the Sens from one of best offenses to one of the best defensive teams in the league last season. Can you chalk the disparity up to Murray or Martin being substantially better?

    D) Karlsson is as good a defenceman as we’ve ever had. From what little I recall of prime Redden he might have been slightly more reliable in the defensive zone than the current incarnation of Karlsson, but nowhere near the game-breaking talent. Chara was a dominant player for us but I think came more into his own in the first few Boston seasons.

    So these are four areas where the Sens seem to match up pretty well. We also could be said to have more “tough†players, which I remember was always a criticism of the 00s Sens. Obviously one glaring absence here is a comparison of the wingers, and the 00s Sens were stacked on the wing with Hossa/Heatley, Alfie, Havlat etc. But Ryan is a helluva player in his own right, and we have a few other fairly serviceable guys (or maybe only MacArthur haha). Despite all this, our playoff seedings have been 6th, 8th and 7th in the Karlsson era.

    My question is, what made the Sens of the late 90s and 2000s so much better than the current squads? And if one of the answers to this is depth, what kind of depth players might we specifically be lacking that we had in the 2000s lineups? As a separate but related question, do you think these old Senator teams are worthy of emulation? Or was their success limited to a particular era in the NHL and would it fail to transfer over to 2014?
     
  2. ReginKarlssonLehner

    ReginKarlssonLehner Let's Win It All

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    You nailed it on the head in your 2nd last paragraph and you missed a couple important pieces.

    1) Wingers.

    Alfredsson, Heatley, Havlat, Hossa

    We had 2 game-breaking wingers at least at a time... and sometimes even 3.

    Ryan....................... MacArthur? I'd compare Schaefer to MacArthur who we had during all the years while we had 2 other game breaking wingers. Then we had guys like Corey Stillman, Bondra at a time etc... We were loaded on the winger side.

    2) Defense. We had veteran defenders. Redden was the main guy but we had Phillips and Volchenkov in their primes who were best defensive pair in the league. Bring those two back on this team and we'd be atop our division. Not to mention ****ing Chara. We also head steady guys like Pothier and Meszaros.

    3) Leadership by example. Alfredsson was our captain and the guy tried his best every time he was on the ice. He led by example. Spezza hasn't been off to the best of starts and the leadership is still new in this group. We had Fisher, Redden, Phillips, Alfredsson. Those were guys who were vital to our team as players AND lead by example.

    Spezza, Phillips, Neil? Methot, Turris? Spezza still is working on consistency while the other two are weakest links on this team in terms of skill. Methot and Turris still relatively new to this team and leadership still establishing.

    That's basically all. Give us one more top winger and a couple solid defenders and this team would easily be up there AND better.

    Oh, I forgot our bottom 6 was also crazy good and stable. Yea Smith is good but we had guys like Vermette and Kelly. As well as Varada, Langfeld, very serviceable bottom 6ers. Our bottom 6ers now seem young, inexperienced or useless.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2013
  3. Wham City

    Wham City Registered User

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    Those Martin teams consistently outshot the opposition by large margins.

    [​IMG]

    Sens haven't performed at that level in years, and this season ain't looking so hot.
     
  4. BonkTastic

    BonkTastic ಠ_ಠ

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    That last bar...
     
  5. Stylizer1

    Stylizer1 HatTrick Swayze

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    Coaching had the most to do with it
     
  6. Vaclav Varada

    Vaclav Varada CoJo

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    Yuuup, this.

    Jaqcues Martin was a god in the regular season. We weren't built well enough or coached well enough to hit the promise land. Those teams always seemed to miss that certain piece. Everyone thought it was Gary Roberts.
     
  7. Indrew

    Indrew Registered User

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    Good drafting and player development. The team had all kinds of depth at forward and defense. Scoring and defense by committee.

    In all of their playoff defeats, the Sens had the 2nd best goalie. That isn't even a knock on Lalime, Rhodes, Tugnutt, Barrasso, etc.

    Hasek, Joseph, Belfour, Kolzig, Brodeur all put up insane playoff numbers against Ottawa... especially in elimination games. The Sens couldn't finish... but some of the saves these guys would pull out of their ***** were insane. It would've been nice to get a couple more clutch goals over that span, but it never happened.
     
  8. Vaclav Varada

    Vaclav Varada CoJo

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    There were a lot of times where we were really physically mismatched. The other teams top lines just ran a train on ours. Guys like Lalime kept us in it only to let us down (i kidd, Against Philly he was a god)
     
  9. Back In Black

    Back In Black 2D Just Do It!!!!

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  10. InAbsensia

    InAbsensia OMG Boro is going to be our captain isn't he?

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    Chara >>>>.
    What made us good was that there wasn't a salary floor and players didn't hit free agency until age 31. We could then keep our young players relatively cheaply and have the core grow together. The salary cap killed that team, but not because we had to spend more, rather because we lost all our good players at a much younger age, before they'd fully developped.

    Also, Martin's system, while imperfect, was basically playoff hockey all year long. Low scoring, keep it safe etc. It had its limits but it worked.
     
  11. MainDotC

    MainDotC Depth Defenceman

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    It was Jack Martin. /thread
     
  12. LeTigre

    LeTigre Registered User

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    Our right wingers. Hossa, Alfredsson, Havlat in that order. They all played dynamic 200 foot games. Powerplay, penalty kill, you name it. We could rely on throwing the puck to the right side and having something come of it.
     
  13. Kellogs

    Kellogs G'night Sweet Prince

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    It was the post game bike rides.
     
  14. The Fuhr*

    The Fuhr* Guest

    Structure... The team was so well coached with the pieces to fit.

    The speed of the forwards with Redden's stretch pass.

    Deadly
     
  15. Senateurs

    Senateurs Let's win it all

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    Skating and puck possession. We had one, if not the best puckmoving D in the league.

    Today, we have one of the least skilled and mobile D in the league.
     
  16. DrunkUncleDenis

    DrunkUncleDenis Moderator

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    It was Gary Roberts.
     
  17. Senscore

    Senscore The Superior B-Side

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    It was as though we could never envision being a bottom feeder again.


    Sigh . . . .
     

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