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Game 16 preview: Vancouver Canucks @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks on 12 November 2015.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

After a pair of ugly losses on the road, the Ottawa Senators return home to start a stretch of five straight games at home. The Senators led 2-0, 3-1 and 5-4 before eventually losing 7-5 in Nashville on Tuesday night. The Canucks ended a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 win in Lumbus on Tuesday.

Matt Puempel will return to the lineup and Shane Prince will be a healthy scratch. On defence, Chris Wideman will play with Patrick Wiercioch being a healthy scratch. Andrew Hammond will start.

Here are the lines and pairings.

Hoffman - Turris - Stone
Puempel - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Pageau - Chiasson
Lazar - Smith - Neil

Methot - Karlsson
Cowen - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman

Hammond (starter)
Anderson

Some notes for tonight:

  • A bit of an Erik Karlsson rant coming. I have read some views recently about how he is "struggling" or having a "bad" season. There is a difference between being not elite and being bad.
  • Ignoring the fact that he has 14 points in 15 games as a defenceman, let's look at just the defensive side. Here is a list of how many shot attempts the Senators allow per 60 minutes with each defenceman on the ice. Here it is for shot on goals allowed per 60 minutes.
  • Another point on Karlsson, has he been caught up the ice this season? Yes. But when people like to claim that Marc Methot "allows" Karlsson to play his game, why doesn't he get criticised for not being able to cover for him?
  • Sure Karlsson is not playing great by "his standards" but if I managed to step on the ice and stay upright, I would be great by my standards. I would also still be the worst player on the ice just like Karlsson is still having the best season by far among the defencemen on the team. No Cody Ceci and Marc Methot are not more reliable despite however local they might be. If you are thinking that Erik Karlsson is a liability out there, all I can do is laugh.
  • Moving on from that rant, a bit surprised to see Shane Prince get scratched for Matt Puempel.
  • After allowing four goals on 32 shots in his first game back from injury, Andrew Hammond has given up only five goals on 76 shots in his next two starts.
  • Mike Hoffman didn't score, but he had two clear breakaways against Nashville. He really is so fun to watch. Not only does he have incredible stickhandling skills but he can blow by people due to pure speed.
  • I have already had a long rant on Karlsson, so I will just say that Patrick Wiercioch being scratched before Cowen or Borowiecki is incredible.
  • Chris Phillips has started skating, so...
  • Thankfully the Senators do have offensive fire power, so hopefully they can overcome their other shortages.
  • In the last nine games, Ottawa has led at some point in the third period in six of those games. The opposition managed to come back and take points from five of those six games, winning three and losing two in overtime. Ottawa has one regulation win in their last 11 games.
  • If the defensive issues keep happening with every coach, it might not be a coaching problem but the fault of the guy acquiring the players. The Sens have been in the bottom 10 of shots allowed for five straight years and either last or second last in three of those five years.

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net. Note that Corsi is now adjusted for score as well as the venue and event type.

Category Ottawa Vancouver
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 8 Daniel Sedin 5
Assists Erik Karlsson 13 Daniel Sedin 10
Points Mark Stone 15 Daniel Sedin 15
Shots Kyle Turris 42 Radim Vrbata 64
Average Ice time Erik Karlsson 26:49 Alexander Edler 24:52

Category Ottawa Vancouver
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.93 8th 2.94 7th
Goals Against 3.13 26th 2.44 10th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.5% 24th 51.9% 8th
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.0% 23rd 54.1% 7th
Shots For 29.3 19th 30.3 13th
Shots Against 34.6 30th 28.9 11th