Last season, the Sens struggled defensively, giving up the 6th most goals against, and 2nd most shots against in the league. Fortunately, they had the 4th best offense, allowing them to slip into the playoffs as the 8th seed. Now things have changed completely; they currently sit 1st in goals against, but are 27th in goals for. To boot, the Sens lead the league in shots for, and are the 2nd worst in shots against.
So what has caused this improvement in goals againt? The easy explanation would be goaltending, but one could argue the defense has been limiting shot quality more than they were last season.
Thanks to this fancy website, we’re able to look at shot distances to see whether the Sens are playing better defensively, or are just benefitting from good goaltending. (NOTE: the NHL's shot location data has some issues, so just keep that in mind.)
According to BehindTheNet, the Sens are allowing more shots against at 5-on-5 this year, but by look...