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Sens Week Ahead: Oct 11 to 17

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Two more games on the road, plus the home opener

The one and only time Zibanejad felt tall next to Ben Bishop
The one and only time Zibanejad felt tall next to Ben Bishop
Mike Carlson

It's the first trip through Florida then back to Ottawa.

Senators @ Lightning

Game 2, Saturday, October 11th, 7:00pm
Sportsnet One
Previous game
Panthers, Thursday, October 9th
Next game
Canadiens, Monday, October 13th
Hot
Victor Hedman - 2P (1G, 1A)
Cold
Brian Boyle

Tampa came in to the season on the tail of a pretty hot preseason, with only one loss out of six games and drastically ourscoring the opposition.  Steven Stamkos is fully healthy again, and it should be a big season for him.  Ben Bishop is healthy again too and is expected to have another solid season, though last season's heights may be tough to reproduce.

They did somehow have a tough time putting the Panthers away, though.  They dominated the play, but had to rely on the power play to score all three of their goals.  That at least means an early good sign for improvement over their middling power play last season.

The Lightning are expected to make some noise this season, making them likely the toughest opponent of the week.

Senators @ Panthers

Game 3, Monday, October 13th, 7:30pm
TSN5
Previous game
Devils, Saturday, October 11th
Next game
@Sabres, Friday, October 17th
Hot
Jonathan Huberdeau - 1P (1G)
Cold
Dave Bolland

It was a rough, rough preseason for the Panthers.  They managed to go 0-6, with a couple of losses by wide margins.

Roberto Luongo had a mixed preseason, with some solid play and some terrible play mixed in.  He is still capable of stealing a game, though.

Special teams were completely ineffective in their first regular season game, allowing three power play goals and barely managing any shots on their own power plays.  This is nothing new though, the team finished 30th in the league for both PP% and PK%.

The defensive corps has an almost similar feel to Ottawa last season in that there is a lot of youth and very little real experience, though probably worse (and not just for their lack of Erik Karlsson).  They could be in for a very rough season of growing pains on the blue line.

Avalanche @ Senators

Game 4, Thursday, October 16th, 7:30pm
TSN5
Previous game
@Maple Leafs, Tuesday, October 14th
Next game
@Canadiens, Saturday, October 18th
Hot
Reto Berra, I guess?
Cold
Maxime Talbot

The Avalanche got completely destroyed by the Wild in their first game of the season.  A 5-0 drubbing with equally bad underlying possession numbers (source: naturalstattrick.com).

The one and only bright point was the penalty kill, which at least didn't allow any goals on two attempts.

Of course, the rough start isn't completely unexpected.  Their preseason was a rough ride with just one win in eight games, and last year's success was considered to be built on a house of cards by many.

Offseason acquisition Jarome Iginla managed to be one of only four Avs to not be on the ice for any goals against, but that's about the only positive thing to say about his performance - but that's more than can be said about Daniel Briere's performance.

By Thursday we should have an idea of if they're going to bounce back from this opening disaster, or if they're going to wallow for awhile.