The West Coast trip is the rock upon which the Ottawa Senators' 2014-15 season will either live or die. Last year's campaign got off to a less than ideal start out West and, one could argue, the team never fully recovered. This year, the prospects of a play-off run are bleaker still; even the most optimistic projections have the team at barely over 10%. Nonetheless, as fans we can't help ourselves but to hold out hope. Anaheim, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks is a veritable murderer's row and anything less than 4 points out of the three games will not suffice. Let's see what Dave Cameron's troops can do.
Ottawa's projected line-up:
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan
Michalek - Turris - Stone
Lazar - Pageau - Condra
Puempel - Legwand - Chiasson
Methot - Karlsson
Wiercioch - Ceci
Borowiecki - Cowen
Andrew Hammond (starter)
Some notes for tonight's game:
- Colin Greening was recalled from Binghamton before the road trip and figures to play at least once, but for tonight Puempel stays in the line-up. Puempel didn't look overwhelmed in his limited minutes against Florida, but he wasn't exactly a difference maker either.
- Craig Anderson has returned to practicing with the team, but Andrew Hammond will once again get the start tonight. Hammond has been spectacular in his two games, posting a sparkling .930 SV%.
- Anaheim look to be a lock to once again win their division this year, something they've done the last two seasons. In fact, since Bruce Boudreau took over from Randy Carlyle the Ducks are an incredible 149-71-29.
- As you may have heard, Jakob Silfverberg has been wildly successful in the shootout this year. He may not have turned out to be the scoring machine Sens fans had hoped for after his SEL MVP season, but he's quietly scoring at the same rate as Mika Zibanejad and has long been driving play. If you can't tell already, I miss the guy.
- For your Ducks-themed preview, make sure to check out Anaheim Calling.
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except for Corsi and Fenwick, which are from naturalstattrick.com.
|Goals||Mike Hoffman||20||Corey Perry||24|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||31||Ryan Getzlaf||39|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||45||Ryan Getzlaf||58|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||208||Ryan Kesler||165|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||26:58||Francois Beauchemin||22:46|