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Silver Nuggets: The story the Senators historical goal differential tells us

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Which Sens player has had the biggest impact on the team's goal differential? I'm guessing this guy.
Which Sens player has had the biggest impact on the team's goal differential? I'm guessing this guy.
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Over at The Hockey News, Dom Luszczyszyn has been writing some wonderful articles that are supplemented with beautiful visuals, like the ones you'll see below on every NHL's team historical goal differentials. I decided to highlight his work in today's Nuggets to encourage you to go play around with the tool that's linked in the article above, but also because goal differential has a striking way of showcasing the Senators history very easily.

First, here's the Senators goal difference by season.

sens historical goal diff

We see a symmetry between the periods of 1992-1998, and 2000-2008 that pleases my brain. The expansion years were as terrible as advertised, with the Senators reaching an era-adjusted goal differential of 212 in 1994. After some successful drafting by Marshall Johnston and company, the Senators began to make their way into positive territory for the 'glory' years (or the terrible years if the playoffs were super agonizing for you) of regular season success. It's also nice that the highest goal differential by the Senators came in the year they finally broke through to the Cup final (143) before slowly declining with a group that's been through several coaching and systems-related changes.

The chart also starts to get messy when, well, the team also started to get messy. 2011 was by far the worst Sens team that *most* of us have watched in some time, but thankfully resulted in a shifted team philosophy towards younger players, buoyed by high draft picks. The jump from -102 to +17 from 2010-11 to 2011-12 is stark, and the biggest jump in modern Senators history.


Dom also mapped out the Senators total goal difference below, which I highlighted so that you could compare to other teams. Again, I highly recommend checking the article out to see the interactivity of the visual.
Sens total goal difference

The Senators are ~0, symbolically starting anew as the franchise begins a new direction that's post-Alfredsson, Neil, and Phillips (maybe? hopefully?). It's amazing to see here just how good the 00 era Senators were, as they completely mitigated the porous play of the expansion-era team.

(Guess where the Leafs are?)

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Sens Links

  • Our Top 25 under 25 series continues with Callum looking at 2015 1st rounder Thomas Chabot, Ian on Memorial Cup winner Tobias Lindberg, yours truly on Sweden's Mikael Wikstrand, and Callum on BSens sniper Matt Puempel. [T25U25 - #12#11#10#9]
  • Mooooooore prospect content from Corey Pronman, who released his Top 10 list of Senators prospects. [6th Sens]
  • Peter Levi chimes in on the prospect coverage as well, with lengthy rants about Marcus Hogberg, Ben Harpur, and Matt Puempel, among others. [Eye on the Sens]
  • One of the most interesting storylines coming into training camp is how the defense corps will shape out. Things got a bit more interesting this week when Chris Phillips spoke about his injury, hinting that he may not be ready for training camp. [Silver Seven]
  • The second note, which is really taking me back to the good ol' days, is that Daniel Alfredsson is close to re-joining the organization in a front office role. [Silver SevenSensChirpOttawa Citizen]
  • Want some coverage on current players? Chirp has you covered, this time looking at how Zack Smith and Bobby Ryan need to have good years, albeit for very different reasons. [SensChirp - SmithRyan]
  • The second annual Sens Summer Fan Fest was a success! Kevin has a recap of it at SensNation. [SensNation]
  • In light of Andrew Hammond's new mask, Andrew has a wonderful piece that takes a visual spin to Sens goaltending history. [WTYKY]
  • Nichols has a news and notes column on training camp battles, prospect lists, and Chris Neil. [6th Sens]
  • Trevor's Five Thoughts for Friday is a good recap of last week's news, with tidbits on Martin Havlat, Mikael Wikstrand, and more. Relatedly, Nichols, Chirp, Travis, and Ken Warren have columns on the Martin Havlat news. [Silver Seven6th SensSensChirpSenShotOttawa Citizen]
  • While we're feeling nostalgic about Martin Havlat and Daniel Alfredsson, Andrew has a piece on 10 other things that the Ottawa Senators should bring back. [WTYKY]
  • Want another countdown? Chirp looks at the five worst games in the history of the Ottawa Senators. [SensChirp]
  • If your positivity went down the drain after that Chirp countdown, don't worry - here's an offseason column on the almost-200lb (!!!) Erik Karlsson to cheer you up. IT'S ALMOST TIME. [Ottawa Citizen]
  • NHL.com featured the Senators in their annual offseason coverage. [NHL - Outlookprospectsreasons for optimism]
  • Michaela wrote the Ottawa Senators A-to-Zed column on Puck Daddy! It was fantastically done. [Puck Daddy]
  • Your end-of-Nuggets audio comes via Episode 22 of the always hilarious Chet Sellers and Luke Peristy podcast. [Silver Seven]
Sports Links
  • Canucks Army recently ran a fantastic series on how to build a Stanley Cup contender that I highly recommend checking out for detailed analysis. [Canucks Army]
  • Over at HEOTP, Jack has a great column on what the 'ideal' NHL size is. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
  • Yost has a column on why it's so difficult to analyze goaltenders correctly. Super relevant, especially as the Senators decided to go with the older Anderson and the inexperienced Hammond in net. Relatedly, an old piece on NHLNumbers from now Canes hockey analyst Eric Tulsky on why goaltender save percentages are increasing. [TSNNHLNumbers]
  • Here's Marty St. Louis on retirement, leaving Tampa, chasing the Cup, and advice from his parents. [The Players' Tribune]
  • The best powerplay that I've ever seen in recent memory belongs to the San Jose Sharks. Here's Jonathan Willis on what the Oilers can learn from the Sharks PP, especially since they now feature many former Sharks on their coaching staff. Seeing that this is something the Senators struggled with at times this season, I hope they're taking notes as well. [Oilers Nation]
  • A column from Jen Neale on the conflict that currently exists between the two professional women's hockey league's, the NWHL and the CWHL. [Puck Daddy]
  • Although we haven't talked about Lebreton Flats for a while, here's an important article from Kent Wilson on thinking critically about the construction of new arenas. [Flames Nation]