Will the Real Senators please Stand Up

I have watched a fair number of Ottawa Senators games this year and I have to say that this is one of the hardest teams to figure out. They started the year out dominating everyone winning most of their games. But since early December they have been much closer to average than dominating.

The image below show the number of points Ottawa (blue) has gained in running 10 game segments (i.e. point 1 is points in games 1-10, point 2 is for 2-11, 3 is 3-12, etc.). For the first half of their schedule up to now they floated around the 16 points in 10 games mark but then quickly dropped to the 12 points in 10 games mark. So which is the real Senators? The 16 point team or the 12 point team? Also shown on the chart is the trend line which is clearly a strong downward trend (and statistically significant).

I’ve also included 2 other top eastern conference teams, Carolina and Philadelphia for comparison sake. Carolina started off very good, then slumped to as low as 9 points in 10 games but has returned to being very good again. Philadelphia has been much more consistent but has struggled significantly in last week or two.

OttawaCarolinaPhiladelphia 10 Game Comparison

This article has 6 Comments

  1. That’s certainly part of it but everyone has to deal with injuries and tell me, how many people were out of the lineup against Anaheim the other night?

    Philly’s injury problems are probably worse. Forsberg and Gagne have both missed a handful of games. Pitkanen, maybe their best defensemen, has missed 20+ games and Desjardins almost 30. Esche has been out of action for over a month and Primeau has only played 9 games all year. Ottawa’s injury woes aren’t any worse than some other teams.

  2. I wonder if you will make a similar post pointing out the inconsistencies of the Maple Leafs.

    We know you like to disect the Senators, and you’re very much right here, but when your favorite team is struggling badly, isn’t it appropriate to discuss that to some degree?

  3. I am planning on writing something up on the Leafs, just haven’t had time yet. Look for it in the next couple days. But Ottawa’s situation is unique because they were so good for so long and then they have been only slightly better than average for almost equally as long. I suspect there aren’t many, if any, teams that exhibit a pattern like that.

    But since you seem interested, here is Toronto’s chart.

    Looking at that chart you see a very inconsistant team. Sometimes in the 14 point per 10 games range, sometimes in the 8-10 point per 10 game range. Sometimes on winning streaks, sometimes on losing streaks. But actually, if you add a trend line it would be increasing since the high points are getting higher. Are you happy now that I have included the Leafs chart?

    I still conclude that the Ottawa chart is quite unique and that is why I posted it. Deal with it.

  4. Actually, I wasn’t looking for their chart as much as I was analysis on what’s wrong with the team, who’s playing well, who isn’t, the options for solutions, etc.

  5. I don’t know if my opinion is wanted, but one thing that I think is wrong with Toronto is that they don’t have a great supporting cast for their first line. On FOXSports.com/nhl/team?statsID=21, Toronto’s FOXSports home page, their 1st line is: Alexander Steen, Chad Kilger, Mariusz Czerkawski, Bryan McCabe, and Tomas Kaberle. I think Toronto is going to have to make a trade by March before the deadline to be a real contender in the East.

    Another factor is that Toronto has Buffalo and Ottawa, two tough rivals who they will play a combined 16 times this year. Toronto lost the first five games against Ottawa, as the Sens brought the score up a lot.

    In their league rankings, Toronto is deadlast in the East in Shots per game, with 27.8 per, 27th in the NHL. They have allowed 31.0 shots per game, 10th in the East/22nd in the NHL. Darcy Tuckey, a more physical player, is their team leader in goals, and a defenceman has the most points, McCabe with 49. They have been playing inconsistently all year and I think will miss out on April/May hockey this year.

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