No team in the NHL has felt so many emotions than the Ottawa Senators in the past few seasons. It sounds impossible that this team were just in the Eastern Conference Final in 2017 during the 2016-17 season. In fact, they were a game away from going to the Stanley Cup Final, but the Penguins came through in Game 7. For anyone in a coma or just forgot, because it would be easy to forget given how things are going in Ottawa at the moment, the Senators were five wins from winning the Stanley Cup.
And from that scene, we can pan to the scene in the Uber. On the surface they look like a team in turmoil, but the fact of the matter is that they just aren’t very good. I don’t know what people were expecting form this roster, but the Uber video is far from the brunt of their problems. With it or without it, the Senators are going to find struggles this season.
Like most bad teams, there will be stretches where it looks like the future appears bright. Getting a healthy Brady Tkachuk back on the ice to develop will help. Tkachuk missed about a month of action with a led injury, but recently returned to the Senators’ lineup. Thomas Chabot looks like a stud as well, so there is some things to be happy about in Ottawa.
The Senators fought back from a 3-0 deficit against the Golden Knights on Thursday, but quickly gave the lead back, and then another goal to put things out of reach. It was a nice sign to watch the Sens not give up and fight back, but must have been equally disheartening for the defence to five it right back. They’re likely going to find it tough against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Florida. Head below for our free Senators vs. Lightning pick.
Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Pick
The Lightning are coming off a 4-2 win over the Islanders on Thursday. It was their fourth win in a row and their 8th win in their last 10 outings. Tampa have advanced to 12-3-1 to lead the NHL in points. The Preds are a close 2nd with 24 points. They stole a win in Ottawa last Sunday, getting a goal with less than a minute left to tie the game up and then won it in overtime. That was the closest that the Lightning have come to losing during their four-game winning streak.
Every other game has resulted in a win by at least 2 goals. Vasilevskiy didn’t start the last game against the Sens, giving way to backup Louis Domingue. Vasilevskiy is expected to start this one. He’s been one of the best in the league between the pipes.
He enters with a 1.98 GAA and 0.937 save percentage. Vasilevskiy is getting plenty of goal support as well, with the best offence in the NHL in front of him. Tampa are 1st in the league with 3.63 goals per game. If Vasilevskiy had started every game this season, they’d likely be 1st or close in overall goals against.
Meanwhile, the Senators are 31st with 4.19 goals allowed per game. In their last ten outings, they’ve allowed 4.5 goals per game. Additionally, the Sens allowed a whopping 40 shots per game on average in their previous ten. And if you watched the Uber video, you would know how terrible their penalty kill is.
Ottawa are 31st, killing just 67.3% of power plays. I’d be weary of Stamkos and Kucherov on the power play if I were the Sens. The Lightning needed a late goal and overtime to defeat the Sens in their previous meeting. But Tampa aren’t on a road trip here and have been home since November 6th. Expect a rout or at least a comfortable Lightning win on Saturday night.