Before every NHL season begins, I love making predictions and looking back on them to see how far off I was. I’m going to put my predictions in, but I also want you to share your answers in the comments as well! That way we can all play along and check how we did in April 2022.
So here are your 10 stats where you have to decide if you are taking the number higher or lower:
1. Brady Tkachuk points: 55.5 (Trevor: Under)
Tkachuk has averaged 52, 51, and 52 points per 82 games in his first three seasons, but the common belief is that there is a higher possible ceiling due to more experience and better teammates. Not much has changed since last season but perhaps the young players such as Josh Norris, Drake Batherson, and Tim Stützle make him even better.
2. Team GF rank: 17.5 (over is better, under is worse)(Trevor: Under)
Ottawa finished 19th in the league in GF per game at 2.77. Montreal was 17th at 2.82, and the Senators could be around that range once again. They haven’t done much to change their offense, although perhaps upward trajectories can help.
3. Team GA rank: 25.5 (over is better, under is worse)(Trevor: Over)
They sat 28th in the league at 3.38 GA per game, which is quite the miracle considering how many goals they were giving up in the first 15 games. Finishing 25th or higher would be a welcomed change after finishing 30th, 31st, and 30th in the previous three seasons.
4. Matt Murray SV%: .907% (Trevor: Over)
Murray was at a paltry .893% last season and was at .899% in Pittsburgh in 2019-20. Out of the past four seasons, he’s only had one season with a SV% above .908% (.919% in 2018-19), so the bar should be a lot lower than it’s been in the mainstream media. He’s capable of being much better, even if it might be unreasonable to expect the same goalie that won two Stanley Cups.
5. Thomas Chabot average TOI: 25:30 (Trevor: Over)
Chabot was 2nd in the NHL in average TOI last season at 26:17, only behind Drew Doughty. He led the league in 2019-20 at 26:00, and in 18-19 he was at 24:17. So over the past three seasons, he’s averaged just under 25:30 per game, and the Senators have said they’d like to manage his minutes better. They might make a concerted effort to do that, but they also might not have the personnel to back that up.
6. Tim Stützle points: 50.5 (Trevor: Over)
Stützle was on pace for 45 points last season, which is quite a good pace for a 19-year-old. His defensive results leave something to be desired, but he flashed a ton of potential offensively and he is easily their most skilled player.
7. Connor Brown goals: 21.5 (Trevor: Under)
Brown had a whopping 21 goals in 56 games last season, which had him on pace for 31. He also had a career-high 17.1 SH%, and his previous high was 14.4%, with his career rate sitting at 12.3%. It’d be pretty difficult for him to repeat that kind of rate, although he was still on pace for 18 in 2019-20 so it’s not as if he has trouble scoring. An under would be a return to his normal rate but an over could also include regression while still being a good result.
8. Erik Brännström GP: 55.5 (Trevor: Under)
Brännström played 30 games last season, which was the equivalent to 44 in a full season. If he’s healthy and plays more than 55, that’ll feel like a successful season, especially considering there are seven defensemen besides him on one-way contracts, meaning he’ll most likely begin the season in Belleville. This appears to be a make-or-break season for him, and we’ll see if he’s actually a defenseman that fits DJ Smith’s style of play.
9. Alex Formenton SH goals: 4.5 (Trevor: Under)
Formenton had four total goals last season and one of them was short-handed. Connor Brown led the team (and the league) in SH goals with 5 (on pace for 7), so over 4.5 would be a successful season on the penalty kill. Formenton is arguably the fastest player in the league and he gets breakaways without even much effort. Even if he doesn’t score all the time, we know he’ll be getting a plethora of breakaways.
10. Senators points: 76.5 (Trevor: Over)
Vegas’ NHL odds has the Senators over/under at 76.5, so I thought I might as well go with it as well. They were on pace for 75 last season, so all they need is a slight improvement to pass this mark.
So there they are, let’s have fun in the comments and let us know if you’d go over or under on these! It’ll be great looking back at these at the end of the season.
Feel free to share your own over/unders that we can debate in the comments as well.