It will be an uphill battle for the Ottawa Senators to clinch a playoff berth this season. They are still in rebuild mode and have reached the 30-win mark just once over their last five campaigns.
While they have some great players on their roster, 2022-23 is unlikely to be the season they return to the postseason, and it would be hard to recommend backing them to win many games when making hockey betting picks this year.
Team captain Brady Tkachuk is perhaps the player to watch on the team, and is driving a lot of the team’s assists. He is also getting much-needed support from Tim Stutzle and Claude Giroux.
Despite their poor run in the NHL this year, Ottawa don’t look too bad at the back with the likes of Thomas Chabot and Nikita Zaitsev in the starting rotation. Goalie Cam Talbot has been beaten around 2.5 times on average per game.
The Senators won 33 games last year, which is already an improvement from their 23 in the previous season. It’s the first time they’ve reached that mark since winning 44 games during the 2016-17 season.
Before their current playoff drought, the Senators clinched four playoff berths and once went to the Eastern Conference Finals. However, they lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.
The franchise that gave rise to the current Senators was awarded to real estate developer Bruce Firestone in 1990. Two years later, the Sens participated in their inaugural NHL season. Another Ottawa Senators squad existed from 1883 to 1954, but it’s not related to the current franchise.
The Senators had their first playoff shot in the 1996-97 season, wherein they lost in the conference quarterfinals to the Buffalo Sabres in seven games. They entered their first Stanley Cup Final in 2006-07 but lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games.
Aside from one conference title, the Senators also have four division championships and a Presidents’ Trophy in 2002-03.
The Senators play their home games at the Canadian Tire Centre. It went by other names like Palladium, Corel Centre, and Scotiabank Place in the past and can currently accommodate up to 18,652 hockey spectators.
The venue was opened in January 1996, and technically can host basketball games. But given that the Senators are the only professional sports team in town, fans pack the seats in every match, causing an energetic atmosphere that can spell trouble for visiting squads.
Their die-hard fans, known as the Sens Army, even dress up for games as Roman legionnaires to reference the team’s name. They also conduct fan rallies outside the stadium to drum up support for their beloved team.
The Senators are rivals with the Montreal Canadiens, which has been bubbling since the inception of the franchise. They met in a controversial playoff series in 2013, wherein a full brawl erupted in Game 3. The Senators won that series in five games, but not after much animosity developed between the two sides. The Senators and Canadiens have had 84 hockey fights throughout their all-time series.
There’s also the Battle of Ontario between the Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs. They meet regularly because they play in the same division, which gives plenty of chances to try and get one over on each other. The two teams met in the playoffs four times during the 2000s, with the Maple Leafs winning all matches.