Welcome to another edition of Sterling Predictions, Revisited. In which we, the Silver Seven staff, take a look back at our pre-season predictions for the Ottawa Senators, and see how well we fared. In this instalment, we’ll be revisiting Part 3 of our annual Sterling Predictions.
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?
Once again, it was Brady Tkachuk earning the Senators’ scoring title by narrowly beating out Connor Brown. Tkachuk tallied 17 goals and 19 assists for 36 points in 56 games, while a late-season hot streak for Brown pushed him to 21 goals and 14 assists for 35 points. Newcomer Josh Norris was tied for second with Brown, posting 17 goals and 18 assists, and Drake Batherson claimed the third spot on the back of 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.
The staff made an array of predictions as to who would score the most points, and how many they’d get. Five of us — myself, Ary, Beata, Trevor, and Owen — rightly picked Tkachuk, while NKB, Ross, and Colin said Evgenii Dadonov. Dark horse candidates were Tim Stützle (Nada and Spencer), and Batherson was the outlier, chosen by Shaan.
Ultimately, Trevor was the closest, projecting Tkachuk to score 39 points, edging out myself, who said he’d hit 40.
I’m not bitter. Shut up.
Who will be the Sens’ MVP this season?
This one is obviously more open to interpretation, and the staff took that to heart. Colin, Beata, Ross, Spencer, and NKB all picked Thomas Chabot, while Trevor, Owen, and myself said Tkachuk. Ary and Shaan chose Batherson, so bonus points to them because he had a great season.
When all was said and done, it seems fair to say that Chabot had something of a strange year. Injuries were certainly a factor, as the 24 year-old was limited to 49 games, but there were stretches where he made uncharacteristic defensive mistakes, and didn’t always look like the dominant force we’ve seen over the past few years. Chabot’s point totals, however, were wildly impressive, with his 31 nearly putting him on pace to match his career-best 55 in a full 82-game season.
Tkachuk’s year was similar, perhaps taking a slight step back defensively, but being nothing short of a wrecking ball in the offensive zone. He was on pace to comfortably set a career-high in points — approximately 52 — and encroach upon the 25-goal mark.
Perhaps I’m biased, but based on how good the Senators looked offensively, his positive impact on Norris, Stützle, and Batherson, and playing a full season, I’m more inclined to say Tkachuk was this year’s MVP. He cemented himself as the captain-in-waiting, and has helped to forge the new identity of this Ottawa team.
It’s hard to fault anyone for saying Chabot, though. He’s miles ahead of any other defenceman on the team, and the blue line looked bleak in his absence.
And the big one: where will the Sens finish in the division and what will their record be?
We had a range of predictions for Ottawa’s final standings position, but were largely on track. Seven staff members — Ary, Colin, Beata, Trevor, Owen, NKB, and myself — projected the Senators to finish last in the North Division. Spencer and Shaan were a little more optimistic, predicting a fifth-place finish, while Ross and Nada were ultimately correct in saying they’d end up in sixth.
Spencer predicted the best record, at 25-21-10 for 60 points, while Trevor, and funnily enough, Nada were the biggest pessimists. They projected a 21-28-7 finish for a paltry 49 points.
Beata came closest to correctly predicting the Senators’ 23-28-5 record. She had them finishing 24-27-5.
At the end of the day, the staff was pretty dead on for this round of predictions. Most of us correctly picked Tkachuk to lead the team in scoring, and be the team MVP (again, Chabot is a perfectly acceptable answer), and while only two of us had the Senators finishing in sixth, they were only a point out of last, and a few of the projected records were pretty close.
How did you do? Let us know in the comments below how your pre-season predictions turned out.