The Ottawa Senators are in Brooklyn for a meeting with the New York Islanders on Friday evening at the Barclays Center. It’s the first game for the Senators since last Saturday and Sunday for the Islanders. The Sens were blanked by a score of 4-0, while the Isles secured an impressive win on the road by a score of 3-1 in Dallas.
Ottawa enter tonight with a record of 15-18-4, which puts them a point ahead of the Devils in the Eastern Conference. The Senators will likely be in contention for the first pick in the draft, as it’s quite clear where this season is heading for them. It’d be in their best interest to aim for last place, but it would also be uplifting to see their young talent producing.
The most promising sign for the Sens has been the effort from defenceman Thomas Chabot this season. The 21-year-old has already racked up 37 points for 2nd in the team in points. He trails only Mark Stone for the lead. Not many defencemen can say that they’re 3 points behind for most points on their team. In fact, he leads all blue liners in that respect. Along with Brady Tkachuk, the Senators seem to have some foundation laid down in Ottawa.
That doesn’t really help stop the bleeding now. Before getting better, sometimes it means getting worse, though. Some teams are forever stuck in mediocrity because they’re never at the top of the draft to bring in elite talent. While Chabot has been a godsend for the Senators’ blue line, they’ve been giving up goals at an alarming rate. Craig Anderson will sit out the next two games because of concussion symptoms. Mike McKenna will step in his spot between the pipes tonight. Head below for our free Senators vs. Islanders pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick
Anderson has done all he can do to help out in net, but it’s often been too much for him to overcome. Help has to come from somewhere, though it has been far and few between. Along with Anderson out, defenceman Justin Falk is out with a concussion as well. The Sens were already digging deep into their depth chart with Falk starting and now they will have to go even deeper. Marcus Hogberg has been called up to backup McKenna.
McKenna has left a lot to be desired in net, as he seeks to improve on a 3.79 GAA and .901 save percentage. Like Anderson, a lot of it comes down to getting assistance from the blue line, though. Ottawa are last in the NHL with 3.89 goals allowed per game. That goes all the way up to 4.76 goals per game on the road, which is pretty nutty. For those that don’t follow hockey closely, it takes a lot of effort, or lack there of I should say, to allow that many goals.
The Islanders have been getting better defensively as the season has gone on. Note that they were dead last in the league a season ago, so they are coming a long way since then. They’ve allowed 2.5 goals per game in their previous ten games, though have given up 9 goals to the Sens in their last two meetings.
With the defence struggling for the Senators, the offence has clicked most of the year at a rate of 3.19 goals per game. McKenna in net and their defensive depth getting tested tonight is not going to bode well for them in their own zone, though. The Islanders are too pricey here, but the OVER provides a solid option Friday night.