Game Days Sens vs Oilers 9:00PM
I originally thought an all-Canadian division would be fun to watch…until I realized 4 of the 7 teams are not in our time zoom.
The Oilers (4-6) are playing back-to-back and will be playing their 4th game in 6 nights tonight against an Ottawa Senators team (1-6-1) that hasn’t played since Thursday night. Maybe Connor McDavid will be tired of skating circles around the Maple Leaf’s and the Senators may be able to contain him. Did you see that goal last night? Wow! However, DJ Smith was asked how you contain such a player. He stated that you hope he has an off day. Not a defensive system I have heard of, but maybe it can work.
Looking at some statistics, the 5th place Oilers and 7th place (last) Senators are the only teams in the division who are negative in goal differential. Oilers at – 6 and the Senators slightly behind that at – 19. Edmonton’s PP% is at 21.6 compared to Ottawa’s at 11.8%. Ottawa seems to require more power in their power play. Edmonton’s PK% is 71% while Ottawa’s is 75.8%. Ottawa has had a lot more practice at killing penalties as they have had a man in the box for 105 minutes over 8 games vs Edmonton’s 72 minutes over their first 10 games. The Senators can do themselves a favour by resting those overtaxed penalty killers tonight.
So, the Senators may need some help defensively. Maybe that shows up tonight, in the form of Artem Zub, if Thomas Chabot cannot play. DJ Smith was asked, after yesterday’s practice, what type of Player Zub is? Smith stated Zub is hard to play against, hard to get to net against. Zub was skating recently alongside Josh Brown in the third paring, so tonight may be his debut.
According to the lines at the Senators most recent practice, White will continue with that new trio, so called the third line, of himself between Paul and Dadonov. Also, Connor Brown is replacing Batherson on the Kid, first line, skating with centreman Josh Norris and Tkachuk on his left side. The second line looks to be, from left to write, Tim Stützle, Tierney and Batherson, with the fourth line combination consisting of Stephan in between Paquette and Watson.
Tonight’s game will consist of the 9th different lineup in the Senators 9th game of the year, in the city where number 99 took the NHL by storm and created lasting memories in that city of champions. So let’s a pray the Senators can properly employ that new defensive system Smith talked about in that city of champions and come out with a win, and of course next 99 in a row.