Week Ahead: Nov 3 to 9

A busy week, but with no top 4 teams in sight

The Sens finally face teams that aren't at the top of the league,

Stars at Senators

Game 14, Sunday, November 3rd
Previous game
Avalanche, Friday, November 1st
Next game
@Bruins, Tuesday, November 5th
Tyler Seguin - 14P (6G, 8A) in 13 GP
Sergei Gonchar - 0P in last 10 GP

The Stars are having a rough ride so far this season, sitting 3rd last in the west - despite having 1 more point than Ottawa.

The penalty kill doesn't look horrible, but it's leaning heavily on goaltending to even make it to 14th in the league - they're allowing the most shots on the penalty kill in the league. Kari Lehtonen had a spectacular stretch to start the season, but has cooled significantly in the past 3 games (completely absurd save against Colorado excepted) with a .897 in this recent stretch.

Tyler Seguin has settled in to Dallas quite well - it's early, but he's currently on pace for far and away his best season to date. Along with Jaime Benn, the future of the first line is bright for the Stars - but they're both still fairly young (especially Seguin) and don't yet have the consistency of the true top lines in the league.

Senators at Blue Jackets

Game 15, Tuesday, November 5th
Previous game
Penguins, Saturday, November 2nd
Next game
Rangers, Thursday, November 7th
James Wisniewski - 7P (1G, 6A) in last 6 GP
Sergei Bobrovsky - .844 SV% in last 2 GP

The Blue Jackets enter the week riding a 3 game losing streak. Though it was against Anaheim, and a back to back against Pittsburgh so take that with a grain of salt. The same could be said of Bobrovksy, who was chased in the first game against Pittsburgh and didn't see the ice in the second.

Past that, they seem to have been running hot and cold for most of the season. It's been a loss, 2 wins, 4 losses then 3 more wins before this 3 game losing streak.

The penalty kill has been an issue with Columbus, at 26th in the league and 77.3%. However, they tend to be one of the better teams at avoiding penalty trouble. They're on the bottom part of the league for shots allowed - but still almost 10 shots per game better than Ottawa.

Their major off-season acquisition, Nathan Horton, is still out injured.

Canadiens at Senators

Game 16, Thursday, November 7th
Previous game
Blues, Tuesday, November 5th
Next game
Islanders, Sunday, November 10th
Brendan Gallagher - 3P (2G, 1A) in last 4 GP
David Desharnais - 0P in last 9 GP

The first regular season rematch of last year's first round, the Canadiens also currently hold the last wild card playoff spot in the East. That makes it probably the most important game of the week for Ottawa, since they're currently the team to catch.

P.K. Subban is leading the Habs in points with 14 points in 15 games, which puts Pernell just ever so close to matching Karlsson's point per game pace on the season to date. Carey Price has been almost only hot and cold so far this season, posting 4 games below .900 SV%, 7 games at .945 and up, with only one game with a so-so .909. Peter Budaj has put up solid numbers in 2 of his 3 games this season as well, with the only poor showing coming against Colorado.

Despite out-fancystating most of the teams in the East, the Habs also appear to be pushing their ceiling pretty hard based on another fancystat - PDO. Their 1.025 is around where we can expect the best combined SV% and SH% to end up over the course of a full season.

The big acquisition, Daniel Briere, is currently out.

Panthers at Senators

Game 17, Saturday, November 9th
Previous game
@Bruins, Thursday, November 7th
Next game
@Rangers, Sunday, November 10th
Jesse Winchester - 3P (2G, 1A) in last 4 GP
Scott Gomez - 0P in last 7 GP

Another team entering the week on a losing streak. The Panthers haven't won in 5 games now, and only 1 of the last 8. The current streak coincides with the loss of Tim Thomas to injury. Jacob Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen haven't actually put up significantly worse numbers than Thomas on the season, but that's not saying much - they're both below .900. Tomas Fleischmann leads the team in points with 10, while Jonathan Huberdeau's 6 points are well behind his pace from last season.

The Florida powerplay has been problematic at 10.2%, 27th in the league.

Florida is the weakest team in the standings that Ottawa faces this week - but they start only 2 points below the Sens. The bad news is that based on PDO, they're also due for a correction upwards.

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