After a dominant 2007.1 campaign, the Sens return from a long and grueling off-season training regimen in Deliverance, Ontario, ready to open up the 2007.9 season on the road in New Jersey.
Despite now having games in hand to the league leaders in Detroit and Minnesota, the Sens remain near the top of categories such as win percentage, goals allowed per game, and penalty killing percentage.
All the hints are that Paddock will carry on with the Heatley/Spezza/Alfie trio up front, not only to remind the "Hockeytown" faithful of another candidate for best line in the league, but to get the team's top guns rolling along at full speed prior to (one can only hope) experimenting with a more distributed attack that can prove more resilient over a long playoff run.
Other than that, it should be back to business as usual for the Sens. Vermette is nursing a tweaked back, McAmmond is having shoulder problems, Emery will look to work his way back into the starter's block, and to my persistent irritation, people will continue to yammer about bringing Peter Forsberg to Ottawa.
Let's go for a 4-3 Ottawa win in the shootout. Spezza (x2 incl. SO winner), Neil (step it up, guy!), Eaves. Zach Parise, under intense pressure from his general manager to secure the lead in the Battle of Ontario Battle, scores all three Devils goals.