N.Y. Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators Pick
For a team that is in rebuilding mode, the Rangers have been playing pretty good hockey. Expecting much more than a record of 13-10-2 in a season without much isn’t realistic. They’re not going to have enough to hit the playoffs, so sending talent away for prospects will likely be the goal at the deadline. Ex-Ottawa Senator, Mika Zibanejad, is having a nice season with the Rangers. His stock continues to go up as the Rangers will be dangling the bait at the trade deadline.
Chris Kreider has been the most effective with 13 goals and 8 assists. His +/- is a team leading 7. Other teams will inquire about Kreider, though the Rangers might want to reconsider unless it’s a must-do offer. You want to keep one or two guys around to guide the younger members of the team, and Kreider provides that as well as skill.
The Senators are feeling lonely at the bottom of the league defensively. They’ve allowed a whopping 4.28 goals per game for 31st in the league. Ottawa are nearly a goal back of the Flyers who have given up 3.58 per game. However, the offence has been doing its part with 3.56 goals per game for 4th in the NHL.
If only they could find a way to limit the amount of shots on their own net, 38.3 per game for last, naturally. The Rangers aren’t far back in 27th with 33.3 shots allowed per game. They’ve also gotten hammered on the road defensively, allowing 4.18 goals per game, which actually eclipses the Senators’ awful numbers. Senators games have seen an average of 9.6 goals per combined in their previous six. That will happen when your defence is embarrassingly bad, yet have some fun forwards on the ice who just want to score. This is likely a 5-3 or 4-3 final score, so 6.5 still is a tad too low.