Ottawa Senators and Puck Possession


The Ottawa Senators currently hold the 7th place in the Eastern Conference. The team has been very inconsistent in their recent stretch of games. The Senators looked great beating the Montreal Canadiens, but looked terrible giving up seven goals to the Nashville Predators. The teams most recent tilt saw them lose in shootout to the New York Rangers. Rumours have emerged of the Senators potentially having interest in Matt Duchene. Would Duchene help the Senators? That is a question that is hard to answer. It is much easier to analyze how the Senators have played so far this season. Where have they been successful and where have they failed.

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Ottawa Senators and Puck Possession

The Ottawa Senators have not controlled possession in many games this season. The Senators have done poorly in terms of CorsiFor (shot attempts). Examining a team’s CorsiFor% (CorsiFor vs CorsiFor of the opponent) during even strength play can give you a good idea of how a team has possessed the puck. Shooting more than your opponent is generally a good sign in a game in which winning is based on outscoring your opponent. Ottawa’s numbers in relation to CorsiFor% have been dreadful.

Ottawa has played in seventeen games this season. The team has had less shot attempts than their opponents in twelve of their seventeen games. In the five games the Senators had a better CorsiFor% than their opponents they have went 0-2-3. The Senators have went 8-3-1 when they had an inferior CorsiFor% to their opponent. This does not mean that the Senators are better when they are outshot, it simply means they have most likely been the beneficiary of good goaltending. Have they had goaltending?


Ottawa has been extremely fortunate in terms of even strength goaltending. Ottawa has scored 29 even strength goals and only given up 28. The Senators have the 7th best team save percentage during even strength play. The 7th best save percentage should be praised as the Senators have the 2nd worst CF% in the entire league. Ottawa gives up tons of shots and scoring chances during even strength play. The Senators have been very fortunate to have had such great play from their goaltenders. In four games, Andrew Hammond has an even strength save percentage of 97.94, which puts him first among all goalies. Craig Anderson has put up a respectable 92.52% over 12 games. The Senators have had exceptional goaltending thus far. How has the offense performed?


The Senators are currently averaging 2.1 goals for and 2.1 goals against during even strength. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the Senators give up a ton of shots and shot attempts. Ottawa’s goalies must make plenty of saves for the Senators to be in/win a game. Ottawa’s CF% is 45.9, 2nd worst in the NHL. If you measure with traditional shots (only shots that go into the net or are saved by the goalie) Ottawa has the worst SF% in the entire league with 44.6%. Four players on the Senators have CF% over 50%.

These three players are on the ice when more shot attempts come for the Senators than against: Mark Stone, Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson. Clarke MacArthur is also above 50% but has only played four games. The following players have positive CorsiRel% which measures the players Corsi numbers versus the teams numbers when the player is not on the ice: Stone, Turris, Karlsson, Marc Methot, Mike Hoffman, Shane Prince and Patrick Wiercioch. The Senators have not produced much secondary scoring this season. My colleague Stuart McGinn wrote an excellent article discussing said topic. The Senators are going to need to improve offensively if they hope to keep winning games.

Next: Ottawa Senators: Tight Games Are Not A Good Sign

The Ottawa Senators need to start generating more offence. It is not fair to make the goaltenders work as hard as they have thus far. If the Senators do not start generating more offense I do not believe that they will be able to continue to win as many games as they have. Would acquiring Matt Duchene help generate more offense? That is a question for another day. It will be interesting to see if the team can begin to generate more scoring and provide more cushion for their goaltenders.

All advanced statistics data taken from War On Ice.