• By: OLM Staff

Will the Ottawa Senators make the playoffs?

The NHL season is underway, and with it comes a whole new wave of optimism for each franchise. That sense has various meanings for each team: franchises must manage expectations following the previous season with new players, different coaches, and personal development to consider.

With that said, the Ottawa Senators are an intriguing prospect coming into the new season. They haven't made the playoffs in the last few years, but they have been building towards something, and they hope this year will bring them the perfect opportunity to take a giant leap forward.

Tough Division

Although the Ottawa Senators haven't gotten off to the best start, there is still plenty of the season left to play. They currently sit near the bottom of their division, which is filled with tough teams. It might not be easy to overcome, although it could be worth an outside bet. Betting comes with restrictions in Canada, but it is increasing in popularity. There are growing options with sports betting in Ontario where people can explore sportsbooks to make such a wager.

Nevertheless, the Ottawa Senators have a mountain to climb, with the Florida Panthers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Buffalo Sabres all battling it out in the top end of the division. With that said, D. J. Smith needs to implement his playing style and start rattling off victories for the Senators to have a chance.

Playoff Drought

The issue that the Ottawa Senators face is their prolonged playoff drought. They haven't made the playoffs since 2017, where they lost in the conference finals. That said, it isn't that long again since they made an advanced playoff push and should be poised to challenge once again to earn a spot in the playoffs.

They seem to be putting the right team together, with top scorers Drake Batherson and Josh Norris starting the campaign well. They are backed by Connor Brown and Tyler Ennis, who can lay off some excellent assists. What the squad needs is just more cohesion and everyone firing on all cylinders consistently.

Building on last Season

The Senators are the fourth-youngest squad in the NHL, with an average age of 25.93. That comes after an average age of 26 last season. What is evident from the Senators is the fact that they are trying to build a roster that can grow together. Only four of their current players are over 30, with their oldest starter being 27, which is their goalie Matt Murray. Outside of that, most of the starters are 24 or below, and this season should be a big step in their development.

The coach will be given time to grow with these players, but part of development is ingraining a ruthless streak that helps players win games. Fans have been patient with the team and probably could forgive one more season for not making the playoffs. However, that would come only if the squad can implement a clear style and strategy with noticeable growth before next season. As of now, it isn't easy to see them making the playoffs, although it is not out of the question if this young team can begin to put it together.