Welcome back for the third and final installment of our mid-season check-in on our Sterling Predictions, aka: just how bad are we at predicting the future? If you want a full refresher, here are the original prognostications from back in January.
The first question the staff tackled centered on who might lead the team in scoring:
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?
Brady Tkachuk leads the Sens in scoring with 22 points in 33 games, one more than Drake Batherson and two more than Thomas Chabot (who has played three fewer games). With 23 games left to play yet, any of those three seem capable of taking down the title; Tim Stützle is lurking with 18 points as well, so maybe he shouldn’t be totally discounted just yet either.
Of the 11 respondents in January, five had Tkachuk, three had Dadonov (whoops!), two had Stützle, and one had Batherson. Extra credit to Brandon for mentioning Chabot as potentially getting in the mix, and kudos to Shaan for being the only one to put forward Batherson’s name. Negative points to nkb, Colin, and Ross for the Dadonov guess.
We were also a bit too optimistic with our totals: the average prediction was 44 points, but Tkachuk’s current team leading total would only get him to 37 at his current pace.
Group Verdict: We were mostly pretty right about just who would be in the running to lead the team in scoring, but almost none of us foresaw the leading total being so low. Partial credit.
Who will be the Sens’ MVP this season?
This one is admittedly a bit subjective, but these things wouldn’t be any fun if we didn’t try to answer impossible questions. The staff was fairly evenly divided in answering this question, with six choosing Thomas Chabot, three choosing Brady Tkachuk, and two choosing Drake Batherson (!!).
At this stage of the year, there’s a decent case to be made for all three of those players. Chabot carries the heaviest load of any Sens player, and this team struggles to generate offense when he’s not on the ice. At the same time, his defensive play has raised some question marks and the Sens have not exactly been stellar defensively as it is.
Tkachuk, meanwhile, has been a menace as usual in so many facets of the game and it is clear that he is one of the team’s leaders and its primary motivator. His offensive totals do leave a bit to be desired, though, and the jump in production that we had all hoped for hasn’t quite yet materialized.
Batherson, meanwhile, has been the breakout player of the year and might even have the strongest case were it not for his struggles at the start of the year. Remember when there was an internal debate about potentially making him a healthy scratch? Batherson is still finding his game defensively but at this point it sure looks like the sky is the limit for the Drake.
Group Verdict: Since you could make a compelling case for any one of the three, and I don’t see that same case for any other player, we’ll be generous and give ourselves full marks on this one.
And the big one: where will the Sens finish in the division and what will their record be?
As of this morning, the Sens’ record stands at 10-20-3 for 23 points in 33 games and they occupy last place in the North Division. At this pace, they’ll finish year with 39 points in 56 games.
It seems we were far too optimistic about the team’s record this year, with an average prediction of 52 points in 56 games; the Sens would need to go 14-8-1 the rest of the way to hit even that level of performance. Never let it be said that the staff are too negative!
Jokes aside, all but Shaan and Spencer (bless their optimistic souls) foresaw the team finishing last in the division, and that seems all but assured at this point barring a minor miracle. Can’t say it’s ever fun to finish last. but this also wasn’t totally unexpected.
Group Verdict: Partial marks again for this one, as we’re on target to miss out on predicting the Sens’ record — but only because we had too much belief in the team!
Do you see things playing out any differently the rest of the way? Are there any predictions you might have made in the off-season that came to fruition? Let’s hear about them in the comments.