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Senators and Red Wings Given Worst Odds to Make NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in NHL Hockey

Aug 27, 2019 · 11:46 AM PDT

Thomas Chabot firing a one-timer from the point
Thomas Chabot was one of the few reasons to watch the Senators in 2018-19. Photo by @Senators_Army (Twitter)
  • The Ottawa Senators finished at the bottom of the entire NHL last season with just 64 points
  • The Senators have -1000 odds to miss the playoffs for a third straight year
  • The Detroit Red Wings are almost as short, sitting at -500 to miss the postseason for a fourth straight year

Just one year removed from a trip to the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, the Ottawa Senators hit rock bottom last season, finishing the campaign dead last in the NHL. The Detroit Red Wings also saw their playoff drought extended to three years.

With both these clubs taking significant steps to rebuild, can they return to playoff contention in the upcoming season? The oddsmakers don’t think so. Here’s where the Sens and Red Wings currently stand in the odds to make the 2020 NHL playoffs next spring.

Ottawa Senators: Odds to Make the Playoffs

Odds to Make the Playoffs Odds to Miss the Playoffs
+700 -1000

*Odds as of Aug. 27, 2019.

Senators in Rebuild Mode Following Two Years of Upheaval

It has been a difficult two years for fans of the Ottawa Senators, who have watched stars Erik Karlsson, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, and Matt Duchene leave town during a ruthless rebuild that has also dumped the club to the bottom of the NHL standings.

Chaos has been commonplace in Ottawa over the past two seasons, and has contributed to the Senators’ short -1000 odds of again missing the postseason on the NHL playoff odds. Owner Eugene Melnyk has done his part by placing the franchise’s future in doubt with a bungled arena deal and ill-timed suggestions of relocation, while locker room toxicity directly contributed to the departure of Karlsson and Hoffman.

A dismal 7-22-1 run leading up to the trade deadline further sealed the club’s fate, leading to the departure of Stone, Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, and the club’s worst finish since 1996. However, with a well stocked stable of young prospects, there is plenty of reason to be hopeful about the Senators’ future.

A dismal 7-22-1 run leading up to the trade deadline further sealed the club’s fate, leading to the departure of Stone, Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel, and the club’s worst finish since 1996

Rearguard Thomas Chabot lived up to his enormous potential last season, breaking through with 55 points and leads a rearguard corps that features Swedish teen phenom Erik Brannstrom. The blue line has also been bolstered by the offseason acquisition of former Toronto Maple Leafs Ron Hainsey and Nikita Zaitsev.

Fresh off a respectable 45-point rookie campaign, Brady Tkachuk leads a formidable group of forward prospects including Alex Formenton and Drake Batherson, with new additions Artem Anisimov and Connor Brown expected to provide veteran guidance.

But while optimism reigns in Canada’s national capital, it is best tempered with patience. The Senators remain clearly outclassed by the elite squads of the Atlantic Division including the Maple leafs, Boston Bruins, and Tampa Bay Lightning, who all sit among the favorites on the Stanley Cup odds.

Ottawa also finished 34 points back of Columbus for the final Eastern Conference wild card last season, but sits as an attractive bet to make modest gains in the standings, with -110 odds of compiling OVER 68.5 points in 2019/2020.

However, a return to playoff contention likely remains out of reach for the Senators, who will likely struggle through growing pains in the upcoming season, while hopefully avoiding off-ice drama.

Pick: Senators to miss the NHL playoffs (-1000)

Detroit Red Wings: Odds to Make the Playoffs

Odds to Make the Playoffs Odds to Miss the Playoffs
+400 -500

Lack of Blue Line Depth, Uncertainty in Goal Hamper Red Wings’ Rebuild

While optimism is on the rise in Ottawa, patience is wearing thin in Detroit, where the once-mighty Red Wings prepare to return to action as a +400 longshot of returning to the postseason on the NHL playoff odds.

The Red Wings failed to rebound after stumbling out of the gate with seven straight losses last season, the first of five losing streaks lasting four or more games, and have now missed the postseason in three straight seasons, marking the club’s longest playoff drought since 1983.

The club sports some impressive young talent up front, led by Dylan Larkin, who joined Andreas Athanasiou as Detroit’s only 30-goal scorers. Anthony Mantha has developed into a steady top-six winger, and tallied 48 points last season despite seeing action in just 48 games. However, massive concerns remain on a cobbled rearguard corps that contributed to the club’s 27th-ranked 3.32 goals against average.

The aging top pairing of Danny Dekeyser and Mike Green combined to contribute just 46 total points last season, and are emblematic of the serious lack of depth on the blue line, an address which the Red Wings have failed to effectively address this summer.

And with goaltender Jimmy Howard entering a contract year, the starter’s role beyond next season’s NHL Trade Deadline could eventually fall to journeyman Jonathan Bernier, who is coming off a dismal 9-18-5 campaign in his first year in Detroit.

Faced with the same stiff competition as Ottawa from Atlantic Division rivals, the smart money will be placed on the Red Wings to finish outside the playoff picture once again.

Pick: Red Wings to miss the NHL playoffs (-500)

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