Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Ottawa Senators: Back from the Dead

Rebuilding is easy. Just look at St. Louis and Ottawa. Bad one year, amazing the next. It works that simply, so why is it taking forever in Toronto.

Those are the two most oft-cited examples of how a rebuild can happen overnight. Unfortunately, neither of those rebuilds happened overnight.

St. Louis was awful the first season after the lockout, finishing last in the Western Conference. The team took a step forward in 2006-07, finishing 10th in the West, although that progress was short-lived as the 2007-08 Blues finished second-last in the West. The Blues surprised in 2008-09, grabbing the No. 6 seed, but lost in the first round to Vancouver. Instead of linearly progressing in the next two seasons, the Blues actually finished with less points in each successive season.

Now after six seasons, five of which were spent outside of the playoffs, and two of which ended in lottery picks, the Blues are the class of the NHL. That hardly resembles a rebuild overnight.

In Ottawa's case, there has hardly been any rebuild at all. The team that is currently fighting for the Northeast Division title is largely the same team that finished in a lottery position last year. It's not even because the spirit of Mike Green took over Erik Karlsson's body. Don't believe me? Read today's post at The Good Point.

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