There’s an old saw how the biggest thrill in gambling is winning a bet and the second biggest thrill is losing one, essentially explaining why people stick around in situations where they are consistently losing. Ottawa is one of the few teams in the league with a 2-way bandwagon, sure they gain fans on the way up but they attract even more doomsayers on the way down. After going 0-3 in the presason the floodgates of ‘blow it all up’, ‘fire Murray’, ‘trade Spezza’, ‘sell to Balsille!!’ have already begun and with gusto.
Judging future success based on preseason results isn’t in the same vein as reading tea-leaves and tarot cards but there’s a reason there’s no points at stake. Lines and pairing need to be worked out, your veterans are impatient, your rookies are desperate and your goalies are no-where near where they need to be mentally. There’s always a few that come out of the gate with all cylinders firing, hell the Oilers are 3-0 and the fans are chanting Mike Comrie’s name. If that’s not madness I don’t know what is.
Don’t get me wrong, Ottawa is about two fiascos away from cellar dwelling, they’re about as fragile a team as I’ve ever seen. TSN recently ranked them 24th out of 30 teams, not so much for lack of potential but for the huge cloud of uncertainty that surrounds the team. Even with the Heatley situation resolved there remains huge questions on almost all aspects of their game, offense, goaltending and ….. other sideshows.
Either way, it should be an exciting season, don’t write them off just yet but be prepared for anything.
About the Author: Al Rankin writes vicariously through others. You probably shouldn't trust what he says, although it's cool to lend him money, he's totally good for it. @Al_Rankin on Twitter