A lot of movement going on for today's rosters, which means I have no idea what the lines are going to be. So I am just going to throw out a guess and hope I am not completely wrong. Bobby Butler returns to the lineup in place of Erik Condra while Brian Lee replaces Zenon Konopka, meaning the Senators will dress seven defencemen. Condra and Konopka will be the only healthy scratches as Nikita Filatov was shockingly demoted to Binghamton today.
Here is my complete guess for the lines:
Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler / Mika Zibanejad
Milan Michalek - Stéphane Da Costa - Daniel Alfredsson
Nick Foligno - Peter Regin / Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - David Rundblad
Brian Lee is the leftover like Phil Kessel
Après le jump pour les talking points and statistics.
Here are my talking points for tonight:
- Butler returns: After being a healthy scratch in the last two games, Bobby Butler will return to the lineup tonight. I have no idea how he will be used, but with only 11 forwards playing, I wonder if the Senators will roll three lines. This might mean Butler gets a chance to play with Spezza.
- Defencemen ice time: With seven defencemen in the lineup, you have to think everyone is going to play a bit less, especially with Paul Maclean as much. MacLean also said that he has no problems playing Erik Karlsson 30 minutes a night if he is doing well. I would expect Gonchar and maybe David Rundblad to lose a little bit of defensive zone time to Brian Lee.
- Sergei Gonchar and the boos: It has been discussed to death recently, but how will Gonchar respond tonight? Paul MacLean feels it should motivate him with MacLean himself having been booed in his career. MacLean did feel Gonchar, Filip Kuba and Chris Phillips were better against the Wild.
- Craig Anderson plays old club: Any time you play your old club, you have to have a little bit of extra motivation no matter what the player says. The Senators have allowed a lot of goals and it's not Anderson's fault, but he hasn't stolen one for them either.
- Erik Karlsson: He's been average in his own end, but he is tied for second in the NHL in points. If he has a big night, he could take the early lead. Last game was a big step for him, playing in every situation.
- High scoring versus low scoring: The Senators have scored 11 goals so far and allowed 14 in their three games, implying a high scoring game. The Avalanche have scored 3 goals so far and allowed 5 in their games, implying a low scoring game.
- Gabriel Landeskog: Many Senators fans were hoping we would draft him, and now he will play his first game in Ottawa. He scored his first career goal late in the third period last night to send the game into overtime.
- Heritage jerseys: After seeing a whole bunch in person at the home opener, they are really growing on me. The Senators will wear it for the first time tonight.
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Avalanche: