17 December 2013

Golden Linings/Crimson Bindings: the scoring monsoon

A feature looking at the recent positives of the Sens' play.

Last season, in 48 games, the Senators were shut out 4 times. This season, in 35 games, the Sens have been shut out once. This puts us on pace for approximately 2 to 3 blanks this year... in double the number of games. We have 5 players in top 50 league-wide scoring (well, MacArthur is #52); Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris are 10th and 19th league-wide assists; and we're sitting nice and pretty at 2.80 goals per game, good for ninth in the league.

No more scoring drought for Ottawa.

Even as we struggle to find consistency, our scoring hasn't been lacking, and this has got to be a source of great joy. Forwards' cold spells are perhaps the only thing more inexplicable than a goalie's failure to save the first ten shots in a game, and the fact that we don't have to deal with it this season is an enormous relief. Goals are and will probably always be first and foremost in a sport where wins are determined by them. We still have defensive woes and odd goaltending kinks to work out; scoring is one less thing to worry about.

The goals were overdue, too. Silfverberg was shooting at an abnormally low percentage of 7.5% last season; this season, he opened with seven points in eleven games, with a shooting percentage of 11.4%. Our shooting percentages last season were unsustainably low, and the regression has been evidenced by the plethora of scoring opportuities which we've been successfully cashing in on this season. Of course, adding fancy stats machine MacArthur, #cominginhot Bobby Ryan and finding that wholesome 100% whole wheat chemistry on Turris's line helps drive scoring. But there's no doubt that the Sens were overdue for regression to the mean.

So? We can expect the goals to keep being scored. Kyle Turris is already two points away from matching his point total last season in 13 less games; Mika Zibanejad is six points away from his point total last season in 14 less games. And without injuries, it's looking like this team's expected top contributors will continue becoming the top contributors. Bobby Ryan might be running high on a 16.7% shooting percentage right now, but most everyone on this team is the real deal when it comes to goals. And it's fantastic.


Post a Comment