When you look at the Atlantic Division this year, you see some top-tier teams. You have the back-to-back-to-back Eastern Conference champions (not to mention the team that won two straight Stanley Cups before this year), the Tampa Bay Lightning. There's also the daunting Toronto Maple Leafs and their stacked front-six, along with Florida's strength on the first three lines. How could anybody forget the up-and-coming Detroit Red Wings and the stable Boston Bruins, either? Such a stacked lineup makes getting out of this division tough.
However, that won't stop one team from upsetting the established order. The Ottawa Senators made some bold offseason moves, starting with acquiring Claude Giroux. The 34-year-old center had 65 points last season (21 goals, 44 assists) and provides a veteran presence for the young team. That is what a team consisting of Tim Stultze and Brady Tkachuk needs, especially if they want to get to the Stanley Cup.
Another major acquisition was Alex DeBrincat, who scored 41 goals and 37 assists last season. The former Blackhawk is an excellent sniper who, while diminutive, loves to go up against anyone at any time. Suddenly, the Sens have one of the best left wing groups in the NHL and one of the most underrated front-six groups in hockey.
Granted, the team is young and looks like a glass cannon. There are some growing pains the team will go through, especially on the back check. This is true when you're competing in a tough division consisting of Tampa Bay, Florida, and Toronto.
However, you can't discount Ottawa and what they're doing right now. Building up their offensive units and adding established NHL players will make this team a force in the future. I, for one, am extremely excited to see where the Senators go in the upcoming years, specifically with their young nucleus of Josh Norris, Tkachuk, and Stultze.