Everyone loves a good underdog story, and the Ottawa Senators have certainly been that during this unexpected playoff run. The opening round series versus the Boston Bruins looked like a bit of a coin flip, and it was the Senators who won in 6. Things looked as though they were going to get a whole lot more difficult in the second round, as the New York Rangers are a team built on explosive offense, yet the Senators put them away in 6 games, too. Ottawa has taken advantage of their chances during this improbable run, edging out close games, and going into OT more often than seems natural. This is a team that always seems to be on the brink of defeat, yet who somehow manage to find a way to pull things out at the last second. That may be a style of play that does not hold up very well against the defending Stanley Cup champions, but there is always the possibility that the Senators have one more surprise in them. Find the latest NHL betting spreads here.
A Closer Look At The Ottawa Senators 2017 NHL Betting Analysis
Ottawa Senators Strengths
While the Pittsburgh Penguins have a number of big name stars in their line-up, it’s fair to say that the fate of the Senators hinges on the play of Erik Karlsson. Not only is he the best defenseman in the NHL, he also posts numbers that would put a lot of forwards to shame. Through the first 12 games of the playoffs, Karlsson has amassed 13 points, and all while playing with a pair of hairline fractures in his foot. The good news for the Senators is that it has not just been a one-man show through their playoff run, as they have been getting input from some rather unexpected sources, most notably from Bobby Ryan. Despite only picking up 25 points in the regular season, Ryan has cranked it up in the postseason, delivering a pair of game winning goals.
Ottawa Senators Weaknesses
The biggest issue that the Senators have is that they are not going to be able to go toe to toe with the Penguins if this series turns into a shootout. The Senators are also not particularly good with special teams, as they were way down the regular season rankings in both the power play and penalty kill. This is not good news when you are about to go up against a team that has routinely carved up the opposition when playing with the extra man. You also need to wonder how long the Senators can survive playing those one-goal games.
Betting the Senators in the Eastern Conference Final
The Senators are a real longshot in this series, but you could also have said that about them in their last match-up with the New York Rangers. If they are to win this series, it would most likely be by taking it the distance. You can get the Senators to win this series in 6 at odds of +650, while a 7-game series win is available for +750.