The Ottawa Senators are playing the Boston Bruins tonight on 1 November. You likely wouldn't have been surprised that one team would be eight points ahead of the other. But you would be surprised to find that Ottawa is the team that is ahead. The Senators have won six in a row but the Bruins have lost three in a row and are just 3-7-0 on the season. They are too good to stay like this, but hopefully tonight isn't when they begin to turn it around. The only lineup change features Zenon Konopka replacing Kaspars Daugavins, who is in Binghamton for dental surgery.
Herea are the lines from Allen Panzeri.
Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Milan Michalek
Nick Foligno - Stéphane Da Costa - Bobby Butler
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Jesse Winchester - Zenon Konopka - Nikita Filatov
Filip Kuba - Erik Karlsson
Sergei Gonchar - Jared Cowen
Chris Phillips - David Rundblad
Craig Anderson (starter)
Stats and talking points after the jump.
Here are my talking points:
- Filatov with Konopka and Winchester: For reasons unknown to me, Filatov has been unable to earn the trust of Paul MacLean. Will Filatov get more than five minutes tonight? Is there room for both Filatov and Butler in the top six? Would a Filatov-Da Costa-Butler line be too risky? I won't question Paul MacLean too much given how well of a job he is doing, but I really do feel bad for Filatov.
- Lee benched again: Unlike Filatov (who I think should replace Foligno on the second line), there is really no one Brian Lee can replace. He's a healthy scratch for a seventh straight game and nine out of the last ten. Again, feel very bad for him.
- Playing the champions: Despite their record, the Bruins are the best team the Senators will have played this season. Can they stay with them and compete?
- Division lead: With a win, Ottawa will take the lead in the Northeast division. The Senators can jump to the second seed if Washington loses as well.
- Secondary scoring 5-on-5: Against Toronto, the Senators scored two power play goals and a fluke goal by Kaspars Daugavins. They created plenty of chances though. Jason Spezza will see a whole lot of Zdeno Chara, can Da Costa's line step up?
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Boston: