Ottawa Senators v Montreal Canadiens

With the playoffs upon us, I wanted to put together previews of each series, but more specifically, I wanted to put together the type of previews I’d want to read. Bite-sized, few stats, and little splash of opinion for seasoning. This is my attempt at providing that.

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2) Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

Head-to-Head in 2013: Both teams had a regulation win and a shootout win over their four games.

A stat: Eight of the Canadiens top nine forwards eclipsed 25 points in the shortened season, with the ninth (Rene Bourque), missing 21 games to injury.

Goal differentials: Montreal: +23, Ottawa: +12
Shots-per-game: Montreal: 30.6 (9th), Ottawa: 33.1 (1st)
Shots-against-per-game: Montreal: 26.9 (5th), Ottawa: 31.3 (23rd)

Evaluation of shot differentials: Ottawa shoots the hockey puck a lot.

Goalies:

MTL: Carey Price: .905 save percentage, 2.59 goals-against average
OTT: Craig Anderson: .941 save percentage, 1.69 goals-against average

Top scorers: 

MTL: Max Pacioretty: 39 points in 44 games
OTT: Kyle Turris: 29 points in 48 games

Reason to watch: The Ottawa Senators might kind of be sneaky good. With Craig Anderson healthy and back in the crease, I wouldn’t be shocked to find them in the Eastern Conference Final.

Lately: Montreal: 4-6-0, Ottawa: 6-4-0

Powerplay:

MON: 20.7% (5th)
OTT: 15.9% (20th)

Penalty kill:

MON: 79.8% (23rd)
OTT: 88% (1ST)

Special teams evaluation: Ottawa is good at killing penalties.

Injuries:

MTL: Alexei Emelin isn’t playing (knee)
OTT: Spezza is done for the year (back)

First game: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST

Flippant barstool opinion: I think the series comes down to whoever gets better goaltending. Also, I’ve been more passionate about playoff matchups.

Closing thought: 

Montreal struggled down the stretch, and a big part of that was the play of Carey Price. If he pulls it together, which he absolutely can, this seems destined to be a six or seven game series. If he plays like he has pf late, I think Ottawa wipes ‘em up pretty quickly.

Prediction: Senators in six.

Your NHL.com preview:

Comments (49)

  1. I like that in a series between a team that can’t score goals and one that scores many, nearly all media commentators side with the team that can’t score.

    • You like weird things.

    • It is also a series featuring the most fragile and “cold” goalie of the playoffs against a goalie who put up the best save percentage of all time in a season.

      Numbers 3 and 4 took their team to the finals those years (Thomas and Hasek).

      • Not to trivialise what Anderson has done, but he played half of half a season. It’s a great season, but comparing it to the performances of Hasek and Thomas is a bit much.

        • I agree with that, and I meant to use it to show a contrast with Price – not to compare Anderson with Hasek.

          To that end, Price was pulled 3 of his last 7 starts. Anderson was not pulled all season – 24 games. Consistency.

    • You’re forgetting that the team who doesn’t score lots had the 2nd lowest goals against in the NHL…

  2. I agree that they are probably sneaky good. I would be very shocked to find them in the ECF, though, as that would mean that they won 4 games out of 7 or less against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

  3. I agree with Ottawa in 6.

    I don’t think they will have the same scoring issues in this series as they had during the regular season, especially with Karlsson back. Also Playoffs brings out the best (or worst) in players, I think some of the young guys like Silverberg are going to do well.

    Montreal isn’t as consistent as Ottawa when it comes to goal differentials, that means if they have a bad game.. They have a BAD game, so if Carey Price doesn’t play well things can get lopsided quick. Ottawa can recover from a loss. If you look back at most of their recent losses, they have out shot the opponents substantially.

    When it comes to Ottawa vs Pittsburgh.. I’d have a better Idea after seeing how both teams do this series, although at this point I don’t see them getting through Pittsburgh..

  4. Doesn’t anyone else remember Anderson in that Colorado-San Jose series a few years back? That dude was incredible.
    Looked like the beginning of more of the same tonight.

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