NHL Hockey Betting: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings

NHL Hockey Betting:  Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Ottawa Senators have opened their season with a pair of wins, beating Canadian rivals Toronto and Montreal on home ice. They’ll try to remain undefeated on Monday night as they head South of the Border to take on the winless Detroit Red Wings. The Wings opened their season with a pair of losses and return to the Joe Louis Arena looking for their first victory of the young season. Both teams should be reasonably well rested, having last played on Saturday night.

Not to rain on the Senators’ parade, but it is unwise to read too much into their 2-0 start to the season. Both games were at home where they played well last year (21-14-6) but now they head out on the road where they were disappointing in 2015-2016 (17-21-3). A bigger problem is simmering beneath the surface where it doesn’t look as if the team addressed their liabilities in the offseason. Right now, the fact that the team is winning is obfuscating these issues but the reality remains that there’s little to suggest that this team is any better than the team that didn’t make the playoffs last year. Craig Anderson started the first two games in net and didn’t exactly position himself as an early Vezina Trophy frontrunner. The team played very poor defense in front of him and he didn’t bail them out. What did bail them out is the offense as they outscored the Leafs and Habs by a combined score of 9-7 needing overtime to beat Auston Matthews…er…the Maple Leafs 5-4 and needing a shootout to beat Montreal 4-3. They’re a couple of bounces from being 0-2 on the year.

The Senators’ problem last year was partially erratic goaltending and more significantly very poor play on defense. In 2015-2016, Ottawa was #26 in goals against per game (2.95) and dead last in shots against per game (32.8). In two games this year they’ve allowed 3.5 goals per game and an average of 31 shots against per game. Erik Karlsson is a monster offensively and has 7 points (4 G and 3 A) in two games. His work in the defensive end has been deteriorating for a couple of years now and he’s never been confused for Shea Weber in the defensive zone.

Detroit has been down this road before. They played their first two games on the road last year losing both and then won 7 of 10. Losing road games at Tampa Bay and against the Panthers in Miami isn’t exactly reason for panic. Wings won 3 of 5 head to head last season including 2 of 3 at home. Unless Ottawa starts to play much better on the defensive end there’s little to suggest that this team will be any better this year. You can ‘outscore opponents’ in October but that’s not how you make the playoffs, let alone advance.


Related Posts