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Sterling Predictions: Shots Allowed

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Will Ottawa improve defensively this year?

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

Last year, Ottawa was pretty poor defensively, allowing 32.1 shots per game, sixth-worst in the NHL. This number actually improved a lot under Dave Cameron, as the team only allowed 30.4 shots per game, which was a huge improvement from Paul MacLean's 33.8. Still, two-thirds of the NHL allowed 30 or fewer shots per game. Will Ottawa finish under 30 for shots allowed per game this season, or are we destined to see more poor defensive hockey?

Trevor: The defense hasn't improved at all, unless Chris Wideman can make a big impact. I don't see how they'll allow less than 30 shots per game, so they'll still be poor defensively.

Ary: This honestly depends on player usage, but given what Dave Cameron’s been trumpeting so far, I’ll predict that the Senators finish juuuust under 30 shots allowed per game (29.something). I think that if a key member of the defence gets injured, the Sens could end up being in the 31+ range again.

Peter: With Mark Borowiecki, Patrick Wiercioch, and Jared Cowen likely in the lineup on any given night, I expect we'll see a good deal more poor defensive play. (Dear Wiercioch lovers: I've included him in this group because he struggles in the defensive end, at least at times, and commits ample defensive-zone turnovers. Although I think some have an overly inflated sense of Wiercioch's overall value, I do still like him.)

Richard: I think Ottawa’s coaches might look at this number a bit differently. Under Cameron we allowed a lot of shots, but we we’re fourth in the league in High Danger Chance Percentage at 53.7% from January 1st through the playoffs. We were also 9th in overall Scoring Chance Percentage at 52.4%. I’m ok with allowing more shots if we’re the team driving play in a way that means we’re getting more chances and ultimately more goals. I don’t think we finish under 30 shots allowed, but I don’ think it sinks us.

Ross: In short, no. Two of the team's top four, Karlsson and Wiercioch, play fairly high-event hockey. I think Ottawa will outshoot their opponents on average, but they will still allow more than 30 shots per game.

Callum: The Senators will allow 31.1 shots per game this year.

Michaela: Other than the possible addition of Wideman to the blue line, the defense will not have changed much from last season. I can't see how they would allow fewer than 30 shots per game this year.

Ian: Ottawa will cut down on the shots against and barely make it under 30 shots per game with 29.7 shots/game.

B_T: Ottawa will finish below 30 shots per game.  Partially wishful thinking, partially season-over-season improvements from the players.

Adnan: If Patrick Wiercioch manages to stay in the lineup, Ottawa can definitely make an improvement in the defensive game but that bottom pairing is still destined to be ripped to pieces. I will say that they allowed 31 shots per game.