At the start of every season, the Silver Seven staff sets out to make total fools of ourselves by predicting the future of the Ottawa Senators. It’s a fun exercise if you don’t take yourself too seriously, but it’s also a worthwhile endeavour to check yourself as time passes. An NHL season goes on for an awfully long time, and what seems blindingly obvious at the end of the campaign may not have been quite so clear at the start. With that in mind, here’s part one of the Sterling Predictions Re-visited series.
Who will lead the team in scoring? Will Brady Tkachuk return in time to defend his crown?
The answer to the first part of this question was actually captured in the second: Tkachuk’s holdout ended with barely any time missed and he stayed healthy enough to remain the team’s leading point getter. Only Ross correctly predicted the Sens’ leading scorer, but it’s worth noting that almost everyone who picked someone other than Tkachuk had a caveat that they thought he would miss a fair amount of time due to his holdout. Certainly, I was worried enough that I had Batherson as my selection. One bonus point to Ary for predicting that Josh Norris would lead the team in goals, and kudos to Trevor for foreshadowing Norris’ breakout season. Everyone else gets a miss!
Speaking of Batherson, though Tkachuk ended up with the highest counting totals, the Nova Scotia native was the clear leader in points per game, and there’s a strong case to be made he’d have waltzed to the team scoring title had he not been injured. Unfortunately he was injured, and ifs and buts are not candies and nuts.
One thing that I think is worth noting is just how predictable the top of the Sens’ leaderboard really was; at the start of the year none of us thought there would be a surprise leading scorer, and one look at the season-ending totals makes that clear today. Barring an off-season trade, I’d say it’s a lock that Batherson, Tkachuk, Stützle, or Norris are once again the top four point getters. If Ottawa is going to move up the goal scoring ranks next season, it seems likely it will be on the back of those four (and Thomas Chabot).
For some added fun, check out the comments section. Only a small handful of the commenters were smarter than the staff on this one!