This was not how the season was supposed to go for the Ottawa Senators. After a sensational offseason that saw Ottawa trade Alex DeBrincat and sign Claude Giroux, the buzz surrounding the Senators is louder than it has been in years.
But then the NHL season began, and all that positivity quickly dissipated as the Senators got off to another slow start. Ottawa is in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 10-14-1 record.
Are there any signs that things could change when the Sens face the Stars on Thursday in Dallas, Texas at 8:30 p.m. ET?
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Senators vs. Stars (8:30 p.m. ET) Prediction
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Ottawa’s early season struggles is that its offense has been incomplete. The Senators are drafted to have a top six that includes Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Claude Giroux, Drake Batherson and Alex DeBrincat, but Ottawa is averaging just 3.08 goals per game, 18th in the NHL. enough for the place.
Scoring has been difficult over the last 10 games, as the Sens are averaging 2.6 over that stretch.
The good news is that Ottawa’s forecast numbers and expectations look more encouraging than its actual results. The Sens have averaged 2.92 expected goals per 60 minutes and 12.4 high-threat chances per 60 minutes over their last 10 contests, but their 5-on-5 shooting percentage is 3.8 (worst in the NHL). ‘is an indicator) ) weighs their results.
Coming into the season, Ottawa’s defense and goaltending looked like the team’s Achilles’ heel, but the general consensus is that this team can score enough goals to make up for some of the deficiencies. That hasn’t been the case lately, but they should start a positive regression as this season goes on.
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The Dallas Stars, on the other hand, are a team that is trending in the other direction. Dallas is generally a solid team that tilts the ice in the right direction, but the Stars thrive in NHL 5-on-5 shooting percentage, and their 3.11 goals per 60 minutes is almost half a goal better than their 2.72 xGF/60.
The Stars have one of the best goaltending lines in the NHL, so they’ll always be outmatched by their big numbers, but if the Sens include Jason Robertson, Roop Hintz, and Joe Pavelski, they’ll have that. a decent chance to upset.
The Senators have fallen seriously short of their preseason expectations, but this is a nice acquisition for a team that needs to start trending in the right direction.
Senators and All-Stars
Ottawa Senators +165 (FanDuel)