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Ottawa Senators Predictions | Dec. 30 – Jan. 4

The Ottawa Senators celebrate Patrick Wiercioch’s first period goal at Canadian Tire Centre on December 28, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/OSHC)

THIS WEEK’S PREDICTIONS

Sens 2 Capitals 4 (20-14-4) | Dec. 30

Sens 4  Jets 3 (17-18-5) Jan. 2

Sens 2 Canadiens 4 (23-13-3) | Jan. 4

Prediction record: 21-19

SENS FROM TO –  The Ottawa Senators continue to struggle with consistency. But they are still in the race due to a weaker eastern conference wild card race.

IN THE STANDINGS:

Ottawa (16-18-7 | 39 points) – 6th in Atlantic – 4th in east wild card race (4 points back of a wild card)

Playoffs Begin For The Ottawa Senators

DECEMBER 10: Zemgus Girgensons #28 of the Buffalo Sabres scores a second period goal against Robin Lehner #40 of the Ottawa Senators as Joe Corvo #77 of Ottawa follows the play at First Niagara Center on December 10, 2013 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators’ playoff chances are in jeopardy — 31 games into the season. For those who respond saying ‘how is that possible? There’s 51 games still to be played’, things are very different this year.

Read more at Hooked on Hockey Magazine.

Ottawa Senators Predictions | Dec. 9-14

Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators gestures to fans after a fight in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Canadian Tire Centre on December 7, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

THIS WEEK’S PREDICTIONS

Sens 2 Flyers 3 (13-14-2) | Dec. 9

Sens 4  Sabres 1 (6-22-2) Dec. 10

Sens 4 Sabres 2 (6-22-2) | Dec. 12

Sens 2 Kings 4 (19-7-4) | Dec. 14

LAST WEEK:

Sens 4 Panthers 2 (9-17-5) | Dec. 3 | Result: Sens 4 Panthers 2

Sens 2 Lightning 5 (17-10-2) | Dec. 5 | Result: Sens 1 Lightning 3

Sens 4 Maple Leafs 3 (16-12-3)  | Dec. 7 | Result: Sens 3 Maple Leafs 4

Prediction record: 16-13 (Week: 2-1)

SENS FROM TO – Every week going forward for the Ottawa Senators is paramount. In order to prove they belong in the post-season, they must put together wins effective this week. Every subsequent week where they continue to come out with even or losing record, however, ‘paramount’ will quickly turn into ‘out’; perhaps even by the Olympic break.

Desperation hockey starts now.

The Senators need to be a .600 team minimum to have even a decent chance at a playoff spot. The new division playoff system ensures the best teams from each conference are selected so it has indeed become more difficult to make the playoffs.

The predictions above do not reflect what they need to do, but are just one person’s opinion of how they think it’ll turn out based on the past few weeks.

But they’ve been playing better of late, outshooting opponents in their last six games and  have been winning the majority of faceoffs. Their puck possession numbers are better, but their execution with the puck must improve. The Senators have an excellent opportunity to make some ground in the Atlantic division with two games against the lowly Buffalo Sabres.They do, however, have 4 games in 6 days.

The Leafs did them a huge favour by losing to the Bruins Sunday. Gut check time in the nations capital.

IN THE STANDINGS:

Ottawa (11-14-5 | 27 points) – 6th in Atlantic (15 points behind division leading Bruins)  – 7th in east wild card race (8 points back of a wild card)

Ottawa Senators Predictions | Dec. 3-7

NOVEMBER 17: Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators stretches during warmup prior to a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Canadian Tire Centre on November 17, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

THIS WEEK’S PREDICTIONS

Sens 4 Panthers 2 (7-15-5) | Dec. 3

Sens 2 Lightning 5 (16-9-1) | Dec. 5

Sens 4 Maple Leafs 3 (14-10-3)  | Dec. 7

LAST WEEK:

Sens 2 Capitals 4 (14-11-2) | Nov. 27 | Result: Sens 6 Capitals 4

Sens 2 Canucks 3 (14-10-5) | Nov. 28 | Result: Sens 2 Canucks 5

Sens 3 Red Wings 2 (14-7-7) | Dec. 1 | Result: Sens 2 Red Wings 4

Prediction record: 14-12 (Week: 1-2)

SENS FROM TO – The Ottawa Senators brought in December with a loss against Daniel Alfredsson and the Detroit Red Wings. Following the game, the Senators sent down defenceman Mark Borowiecki and forward Derek Grant to Binghamton, and recalled forward Mike Hoffman. Hoffman returns to the nation’s capital with 11 goals and 15 assists in 21 AHL games this season, and is currently second in AHL scoring. Paul McLean has said that he has no found his best team in the combinations he has already tried, but says he’s confident that his team will enjoy the end result of its season. The Senators go into tonight’s game against the Panthers with a 6-1-1 record against teams in their division (Panthers are in Ottawa’s division). Craig Anderson, who is set to start, has a career 9-1-1 record against Florida.

IN THE STANDINGS:

Ottawa (10-13-4 | 24 points) – 6th in Atlantic (14 points behind division leading Bruins)  – 6th in east wild card race (7 points back of a wild card)

Ottawa Senators Predictions | Nov. 27-Dec. 1

NOVEMBER 23: Clarke MacArthur #16 of the Ottawa Senators gets congratulated by teammates on the bench after scoring his 2nd goal during an NHL game against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on November 23, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. Ottawa defeated Detroit 4-2 (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

THIS WEEK’S PREDICTIONS

Sens 2 Capitals 4 (12-10-2) | Nov. 27

Sens 2 Canucks 3 (12-9-4) | Nov. 28

Sens 3 Red Wings 2 (11-7-7) | Dec. 1

LAST WEEK:

Sens 3 Flyers 2 (7-10-2) | Nov. 19 | Result: Sens 2 Flyers 5 (10-11-2)

Sens 1 Wild 3 (12-4-4) | Nov. 20 | Result: Sens 3 Wild 4 (15-6-4)

Sens 3 Red Wings 2 (9-5-7) | Nov. 23 | Result: Sens 4 Red Wings 2 (11-7-7)

Sens 1 Hurricanes 2 (8-8-4) | Nov. 24 | Result: Sens 1 Hurricanes 4 (9-10-5)

Prediction record: 13-10 (Week: 3-1)

Sens From TO: TORONTO – The Ottawa Senators continued their win-one-lose-win ways with losses to the Flyers, Wild and Hurricanes, but a win against the Atlantic division rival Detroit Red Wings in the middle. Not many positives came out of last week as the Senators were, once again, victims of themselves. Coach Paul McLean said his team wasn’t playing with enough respect against teams at the bottom of the league and that they weren’t putting enough effort in. Clarke MacAthur, one of the only positives that came out of another losing week, scored 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in four games. In addition, Craig Anderson has disappeared from team USA’s Olympic radar despite having Vezina numbers last season. Erik Karlsson continues to be a point-per-game player with 7 goals and 17 assists in 24 games despite being a -3 in these past four contests.

Craig Anderson will get the nod tonight against the Washington Capitals.

IN THE STANDINGS:

Ottawa (9-11-4 | 22 points) – 6th in Atlantic (12 points behind division leading Bruins)  – 6th in east wild card race (6 points back of a wild card)

Sens Stunned In Philly – Again

Derek Grant #57 of the Ottawa Senators gets checked into the boards by Jay Rosehill #37 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

 

The Ottawa Senators allowed five goals to the Philadelphia Flyers for the second time in the past seven days Tuesday.

After their game at the Wells Fargo Centre, the team is now 4-4-1 against teams who are below .500., and 4-5-3 against teams above .500. This would suggest they are about average, and this is reflected in their overall record of 8-9-4. What’s interesting is the fact that some fans think the team is playing horrible hockey, yet, they have not lost by more than 3 goals to a team above .500. Their two worst losses of the season to above .500 teams were not by more than 3 goals, 4-1 to the Ducks, and 5-2 to the Sharks, respectively. In another 6 games against teams who have won more than 50 per cent of their games, the team has lost by only one goal.

In addition, they have beat  Boston, who currently leads the Atlantic, and Detroit, scoring a total of 10 goals and allowing only 3 in those two games.  The rest of the games have been solid wins, or straight up ugly for the Senators.

We’ve seen a team who can man-handle powerhouses, and a team that gets ripped apart by playoff longshots. So, which is it?

Read more at Hooked on Hockey Magazine.

Weekly Sens Predictions | Nov. 19-24

NOVEMBER 17: Nick Foligno #71 and Nick Foligno #71 of the Columbus Blue Jackets celebrate their win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on November 17, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Sens 3 Flyers 2 (7-10-2) | Nov. 19

Sens 1 Wild 3 (12-4-4) | Nov. 20

Sens 3 Red Wings 2 (9-5-7) | Nov. 23

Sens 1 Hurricanes 2 (8-8-4) | Nov. 24

LAST WEEK:

Sens 3 Flyers 1 (7-10-2) – (Nov. 12) | Result: Sens 0 Flyers 5

Sens 2 Bruins 4 (12-6-1) (Nov. 15) | Result: Sens 4 Bruins 2

Sens 4 Blue Jackets 2 (7-10-3) (Nov. 17) | Result: Sens 1 Blue Jackets 4

Prediction record: 10-9 (Week: 0-3)

News: The Ottawa Senators continue to struggle with consistency after dropping two games against sub-.500 teams. Had they won against the Flyers and Blue Jackets and everything else remained the same at week’s end, they would’ve been a point behind Boston, Toronto and Detroit who are all tied for second in the Atlantic division with 25 points each. Trade rumours are surfacing as an Edmonton scout was in Ottawa observing the team this past week. The Senators are apparently in search of a top 6 forward to play alongside Jason Spezza, as per Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie.

IN THE STANDINGS:

Ottawa (8-8-4) – 6th in Atlantic (8 points behind division leading Lightning)  – Tied for 3rd in East wild card race with the Hurricanes

Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated: An Analysis

Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators and Nick Leddy #8 of the Chicago Blackhawks chase after the puck during the NHL game on October 29, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

Twelve games into the season, the Ottawa Senators are allowing an average of just over 3 goals per game, good for sixth worst in the league.

But they’re 13th in goals for, scoring just under 3 goals per game. One’s response to this would be that it’s obvious why they’re losing. If you score less than the other team, you lose — plain and simple.

Still, averaging the 13th most goals per game in the league  isn’t bad. So, it’s Craig Anderson’s fault … No, actually. Those who have been around hockey long enough will tell you that it’s rarely the netminder’s fault, and in this situation, they’d be right.

Keep reading at Hooked On Hockey Magazine.

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