One of the more interesting conversations to be had in regard to predicting the outcomes of hockey games is whether or not previous head-to-head matchups are a preview of things to come. We’re a little past the halfway point of the regular season and teams already have faced the other teams in their division anywhere from four to six times. While it’s important not to get overconfident based on a handful of performances, there is some insight to be drawn from analyzing previous games in a season series.
Take the Ottawa Senators, for example. The Senators had gone 3-2 in five previous matchups against the Calgary Flames, each time with Matt Murray in goal. For anyone who doesn’t know, Murray is arguably the worst goaltender in the NHL. The teams were matched up again Monday, but this time Murray did not suit up because of an injury, joining backups Marcus Hogberg and Joey Daccord on the shelf. It would be up to Filip Gustavsson to get the job done in his first game in the pros.