Game 33 Hub: Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres

It's the battle of the Disappointments

Game 33 Hub: Ottawa Senators vs Buffalo Sabres
Photo by Henrik Hansen / Unsplash

We've travelled across the land, searching far and wide, and at long last we've found a team just as sad as ours.

Fans of the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres spent large portions of the offseason arguing about which team would break their playoff drought, only to discover that when it is hot and dry, it doesn't rain. These teams have both been disappointing, to say the least.

One interesting contrast between the two, is while the Sabres completely ignored the questions regarding their goaltending and predictably paid the price, the Senators have worked harder than most teams to secure adequate NHL goaltending over the last several years, only to fail miserably nearly every single time, with Anton Forsberg's 2021-22 campaign being the only large-ish sample of success in the post-Craig Anderson era. Which do you prefer, bad scouting or no scouting?

Also, both clubs feature woefully inadequate special teams, highlighted by Ottawa's dead-last 71.3% penalty kill and Buffalo's 27th-ranked 13.2% power-play. It's a harsh blow for Sens fans after ranking 8th in PP% and 14th in PK% last season, while also being the basis for my next Long-Form: "Nick Holden was Underrated".

Oh. and Thomas Chabot as well. One silver lining of this team's ineptitude is that it's silenced the critics of the long-maligned offensive defensemen, who's only played in 9 games this season. As bad as the Senators are at defending, they're actually even worse at generating high-danger chances. Perhaps things will start to turn around as Chabot returns to the lineup tonight. No word as of this writing who will come out of the line-up.

Tonight's game will be aired on TSN5 and TSN1200, with a 6:00 pm EST start time.


Game 32 Senators Sabres
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk 16 Jeff Skinner 15
Assists Tim Stützle 26 Casey Mittelstadt 21
Points Tim Stützle 33 Casey Mittelstadt 31
Shots Brady Tkachuk 144 Jeff Skinner 121
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 24:23 Rasmus Dahlin 25:03

Game 32 Senators Sabres
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 3.39 10th 2.97 22nd
Goals Against/GP 3.58 29th 3.41 24th
Shots/GP 32.3 9th 30.4 19th
Shots Against/GP 30.8 19th 29.4 9th
Powerplay % 16.9 23rd 13.2 27th
Penalty Kill % 71.3 32nd 78.5 21st
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 47.95 22nd 49.56 20th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 47.07 24th 48.89 22nd

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