After playing the Toronto Maple Leafs in back-to-back preseason games (and if you count the rookie tournament, back-to-back-to-back games), the Ottawa Senators are getting ready to take on a different opponent for back-to-back games: the Montreal Canadiens.
After getting shelled on Wednesday by the Boston Bruins, Carey Price will be in the press box as former Senators goaltender Alex Auld will make his Canadiens debut. Pascal Leclaire will be in goal for Ottawa, and the Senators will even be dressing some top-six forwards as Mike Fisher, Alex Kovalev, and Peter Regin will be Ottawa's top line.
After the jump, some things I'm looking forward to seeing:
- How will Pascal Leclaire perform? Will we get the confident, puck-attacking playoff edition, or the regular season Leclaire who got pulled seven times? If he plays well, it may give fans some cautious optimism about the coming season.
- Will Alexei Kovalev show up? It's not exactly crucial for Kovalev to have a great game tonight, but the team's regular season (and playoff) success is partially dependent on him exercising his ability to dominate games more often than last season. Much like Leclaire, a strong performance for Kovalev may provide fans with cautious optimism.
- Erik Karlsson pairing with Chris Phillips. This is a combination that we could see plenty of throughout the regular season, and Phillips' steadying influence may give Karlsson the safety to take a few more risks than he would playing with someone like Filip Kuba.
- Will fan favourite Mike Brodeur get in any action? "Not Martin" was sick the other night, but if he's healthy he may get a period in.
- What colour tie will Cory Clouston wear? My money's on salmon.