Welcome back for the third and final installation of our Sterling Predictions series. You can find Part 1 here, and Part 2 here. In this edition, we tackle the big questions: who’s going to lead the team in scoring, who’s going to be the MVP, and where are the Sens going to finish in the standings?
Brady Tkachuk edged Connor Brown for the Sens scoring title last year with 44 points to Brown’s 43. Who leads the way this year and what will their total be?
Ary: Brady takes the top spot with 50 points in 56 games
Colin: Evgeny Dadonov will lead the way with 35 points.
Beata: I think Brady pulls ahead this season. I think I already predicted that he’s going to fall just short of a point per game, so for the sake of consistency I’ll say he gets about 50 points.
Trevor: I think it has to be one of two guys: Tkachuk or Dadonov. I’ll say Tkachuk leads the way with 39 points.
Ross: Evgeny Dadonov will score 42 points.
Spencer: Timothy. Stützle. 48 points. Book it.
Owen: Brady will be the lone Senator with 50+ points.
Brandon: I think it’s Brady again. I’ll say he hits 40 points, but don’t be surprised if guys like Dadonov, Chabot, and even Stützle are in the mix. More high-end talent makes for more dispersed production.
Nada: I think it’ll be a close race between Tkachuk and Stützle, but I’m going to go ahead and pick Stützle with 45 points.
Shaan: I’ll go big and say Drake Batherson leads the way offensively with 44 points in 56 games.
nkb: Dadonov is going to be an absolute menace, and he’s basically guaranteed top line and top PP minutes all year. I say he goes for 47 points.
Who will be the Sens’ MVP this season?
Ary: Drake Batherson. I think this will finally be the year where he translates some of the success he’s had in junior and the AHL, and establishes himself as a legitimate top-RW option.
Colin: It’s cheating, but I’ll give two answers: Chabot as their most impactful player, and Stützle for making the games semi-bearable to watch.
Beata: I’m tempted to go with a forward - I think there are a lot of guys who could surprise us with career seasons - but looking at that lineup on defence, I don’t know how you go with anyone other than Chabot.
Trevor: Considering I predicted Tkachuk will lead the team in points, I’ll be consistent and say that he’s also the team MVP.
Ross: Thomas Chabot. He will play 32 minutes a night, and will have to contribute to every win.
Spencer: Thomas Chabot - he’s going to play a ton of big minutes and his performance in those minutes will be the biggest difference maker for this team.
Owen: Brady again. Chabot will play big minutes but it will be a long, ugly season for all defenders. Högberg would be my sleeper pick.
Brandon: It’s going to be Brady Tkachuk. While Chabot is far and away their best defender, I think he’ll be somewhat anchored by his fellow blueliners. Brady brings not only production, but swagger to this team. He’s the sparkplug to the engine.
Nada: Thomas Chabot. Tkachuk will have a wonderful season but I think Chabot will emerge as someone who stabilizes the team and adds more value.
Shaan: Again, I’ll say Batherson. He looked NHL-ready by the end of last season and he’s going to have some talented linemates this year.
nkb: Chabot’s been the engine that drives this team for two years now, and I don’t see that changing this season. He’ll play a little bit less than last year, but he’ll still be on for close to 25 minutes a night and as he goes, so go the Senators.
And the big one: where will the Sens finish in the division and what will their record be?
Ary: 7th, with a record of 24-26-6
Colin: Fully anticipating another last-place finish, I’ll predict a record of 23-27-4 for 52 points.
Beata: Last place, with a record of 24-27-5.
Trevor: The Senators will finish 7th in the division with a record of 21-28-7 (49 points).
Ross: 6th in the division, 22-28-6 (50 points)
Spencer: Hockey is weird. The Sens will end up pulling out of the basement where everyone expects them to be, into a comfortable 5th place (Winnipeg and Vancouver will be below them). They’ll have a 25-21-10 record for a cool 60 points.
Owen: 7th but not by much. 20-24-12
Brandon: I see a lot of potential for jumping up to 5th, maybe even 4th, but I’ll take the safe bet and say the Sens finish 7th. 22-27-7.
Nada: I’m going to go with 6th and a record of 21-28-7.
Shaan: 24-24-8 for 5th in the North division. Winnipeg and Edmonton will end up behind them, as the goaltending they relied on last year to have success will regress more than they expect it to.
nkb: I think the team will be improved from last year in a lot of meaningful ways but they’re still at least a year away from being relevant in the play-off chase. 23-25-8 for 54 points and sadly a last place finish in the division.
So this is it, the wait is finally over. Tonight, the Sens face-off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. How wrong will we be about everything we just said? All that’s left to do to find out now is to play the games. Let’s hear your predictions in the comments below!