Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Ottawa Or Detroit?

08/17/2022 at 9:08am EDT

Dan Rosen of NHL.com answers some fan mail,

Based on what they have done, who do you think is more likely to make the playoffs, the Senators or the Red Wings? -- @punmasterrifkin

That's a tough call because I don't think either is ready for the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, but I like the Ottawa Senators' chances slightly better because of their high-end scoring.

Ottawa's expected top-six forward group of Alex DeBrincat, Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Tim Stutzle combined for 367 points (166 goals, 201 assists) in 427 games last season, for per-game averages of 0.39 goals, 0.47 assists and 0.86 points. Each of the six has a chance to score at least 30 goals this season, and Tkachuk, DeBrincat and Norris each could score 40.

The Red Wings are solid up front with a projected top-six forward group of Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, Jakub Vrana, Andrew Copp and David Perron. They combined for 317 points (145 goals, 172 assists) in 386 games last season, per-game averages of 0.38 goals, 0.45 assists and 0.82 points.

So, it's close if you just go by those numbers, and it's certainly reasonable to think Raymond, who had 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists) in 82 games as a rookie, will take a big step, and Vrana, who had 19 points (13 goals, six assists) in 26 games, will make a big impact if he stays healthy. But the upside of Senators' top-six is better because of the expected continued growth from Tkachuk, Stutzle, Norris and Batherson, plus the additions of Giroux and DeBrincat.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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