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Sterling Predictions: Shots Allowed

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Will the Sens be the league’s worst team at shot prevention again?

NHL: Preseason-Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators
It’s never too early to pick your scapegoats, right?
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Q: The Sens finished last in the league last season in shots allowed, allowing 32.8 per game. The season before they were sixth-worst, and in 2013-14 they finished second-last, so shot prevention has been somewhat of a recent problem in the capital. Will the Sens improve, or will they finish bottom-five in shots allowed per game again?

Trevor: I'm going to say they don't finish in the bottom five. I think the Guy Boucher effect will be real, although he isn't going to make Ottawa's defense corps good per se. But they will definitely be better (like we always say).

Ary: I’ll be optimistic and say that they won’t, but I still think they’ll be in the bottom-10. How much can systems really impact a personnel group that has fared so poorly in previous seasons? Not much has changed, especially on D, and although I think Boucher can get them out of the bunker, I don’t think their defensive ceiling is that far off.

Callum: I'll go with yes. As much as I feel Guy Boucher will up this team's tempo and mend many sensitive areas, the Senators' D corps weren't upgraded in the summer and the bottom pairing could be a big problem.

Peter: This is really a toss-up, but I will say no based on one major improvement: Boucher's focus on possession. Secondarily will be the additions of Chris Kelly and Tom Pyatt, two defensively-minded players who should get decent penalty killing time even if they're not out there much at even strength. A big variable will be the second pairing of Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci, however; they could give Ottawa a big boost, but neither of them have been known as shots-against-reducers.

NKB: Guy Boucher will help, but it seems unlikely the personnel has changed enough to dramatically impact the team's shot prevention. I very well could be wrong, but when it comes to the Sens and shots against I'll need to see it before I believe it. No, they don't make it out of the bottom five. If they're going to win, they'll need to do it by generating a tonne of shots of their own.

Ross: Ugh. I doubt it. I think Ottawa will play an up tempo style, maximizing the team’s strengths in speed and offensive ability. That means the team won’t be great at preventing shots, though they should make up for it somewhat by generating them. I’ll bet the Sens don’t finish last, but they’ll still finish bottom-five.

Ian: I'd love to say that they won't, but I feel like that's too much to ask with so many returning players. So yes, they'll be stuck in the bottom-five again.

Michaela: Boucher loves a defensively sound team, and despite the fact that the blue line won't see any dramatic changes from last year, I imagine his system will have everyone helping keep the other team's offence at bay. I'm going to be optimistic here, and say that the Sens won't finish bottom-five in shots allowed this season.