With the Ottawa Senators off on their bye week until Saturday, it's a great time to pause and think about how the season has gone so far and, also to revisit our views of the team from before the season. The staff writers at Silver Seven gave various predictions at the outset of the campaign; today we'll be looking back at who we thought was going to do all the scoring.
Check back for parts two and three later this week!
Who will lead the Ottawa Senators in total points this year? Will anyone crack 100? And, for a bonus point, who will be the leading scorer among defensemen?
Of the nine staff responses, every person had Tim Stützle as the leading point-getter, and for good reason: he led the team last year with 90, which was seven more than second place Claude Giroux. Staff and other fans expected him to take yet another step forward, and although he hasn't quite done that, he's still shown that he is an elite talent and the best scorer on the team. He has 47 points in 47 games, on pace for 82, which is five more than Giroux and six more than Brady Tkachuk. I wouldn't say he's a lock to have the most points, but barring an injury, he should get there by the end of the season.
His 82-point pace seems modest, although he isn't going to shoot 8.5% forever (13% for his career).
In terms of specific numbers, staff members definitely had higher hopes for point totals. Ary was the lowest prediction at 93, although that is on pace to be the closest so far. Ross and Shaan were at 95 and 96, respectively, and everyone else (Trevor, Beata, Nada, nkb, Owen), all had Stützle getting at least 100, with Nada at the highest at 108. Optimistic predictions, but I don't think they were crazy at the time. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet that Stützle has a better second half.
Trevor, Beata, Nada, nkb, and Owen obviously all predicted somebody (Stützle) to get at least 100 points, but Beata, Nada, and nkb also predicted that Tkachuk would get 100+ this season. Beata was unspecified with at least 100, Nada had him at 107, and nkb had 100 for Brady. Tkachuk is on pace for 72 this season, which is a bit of a letdown after 83 last season, but it's still very good, especially when you consider that only 19.51% of his points are on the powerplay, compared to 34.95% last year.
As for the final question about defense, there were only two different responses: six for Thomas Chabot and three for Jakob Chychrun. The current correct answer is Chychrun, who has 28 points in 47 games and is on pace for 49 this year. Chabot has 15 points in just 25 games, which is a full-season pace of...49 points. Obviously, he's missed 22 games so far, but it's very interesting how similarly they've produced offensively.
Spencer (57 points), nkb (58 points), and Nada (60 points) were the three to be correct so far, although they are all a bit too optimistic about Chychrun's totals—unless he goes on a hot streak. Ross had the lowest overall prediction with 43 points for Chabot, whereas Owen (Chabot) and Nada (Chychrun) had the highest with 60. Jake Sanderson was mentioned in passing by Nada and Spencer in these predictions, although he seemed to be a clear third in our minds. However, he sits at 24 points in 47 games (four points back), on pace for 42 in 82 games. There's still an outside chance that Sanderson could catch up as well, but it'd be tough with Chychrun's powerplay time.
It's so difficult to tell who has the best offensive ability on this blueline because Chabot can be underrated at times, Chychrun has an amazing shot, and Sanderson keeps getting better. It's a nice problem to have. Overall, I'd say the staff did pretty well in part 1, because so far we are correct with Stützle (just too optimistic), and 33% are correct on the defense, with the caveat that things could have been different if Chabot wasn't injured.
Stay tuned for parts two and three later this week!