Senators @ Red Wings
Prev game : Panthers, Saturday, October 15th
Cold : Petr Mrazek - .889 SV%
Injured : Niklas Kronwall (IR), Tomas Jurco (IR), Johan Franzen (IR), Vili Saarijarvi (IR), Tomas Nosek (IR), Joe Vitale (IR)
If the Red Wings want to keep the playoff streak alive, their start to the season is not the way to do it. They’re 0-2 so far this season, which is rough enough of a start on it’s own, but it’s also how they’ve gotten that record.
They’ve been out-possessed, badly, in both games. Outscored as well - Petr Mrazek has allowed eight goals so far, with the team also allowing an extra empty netter in both games. On the flip side, they’ve only managed to score five goals.
The injury situation doesn’t help them much. Nicklas Kronwall is getting a little long in the tooth, but is still a significant contributor to have sidelined. Johan Franzen has historically been a solid piece of the Red Wings puzzle as well, but has played only two games in the last season and a half due to concussions. The rest aren’t big pieces (Saarijarvi isn’t even expected to play for the big club once he’s off IR), but the number of them on the list to start the season can put a strain on a team’s depth.
Coyotes @ Senators
Prev game : Flyers, Saturday, October 15th
Cold : Mike Smith - .900 SV%
Injured : Kevin Connauton (IR), Michael Stone (IR), Dave Bolland (IR), Jamie McGinn (DTD)
It’s tough to make out just what the Coyotes are going to be this season. They’ve got a youth movement going on, nearly from top to bottom. New GM John Chayka is the youngest in NHL history, and is much more analytically inclined than the average. On the ice they put out four rookies in the opening night lineup. Two of those, Jakob Chychrun and Christian Dvorak, put up a point in that game though. All told, a full half of their skaters for game one were under 25.
In terms of team play, it’s a little rough. They’ve only played one game, but they were maybe a little lucky (and gifted with three early power plays) to come out with the win after spending a little too much time in their own zone. Something that also appeared to be a trend in preseason for them, for what that’s worth.
Lightning @ Senators
Prev game : Avalanche, Thursday, October 20th
Cold : Ben Bishop - .875 SV%
Injured : Ryan Callahan (IR)
We’ve had the perennial contender in decline, the basement dweller (maybe) on the rise - this one is the contender in their prime.
The Lightning have been pegged by many to take the division and contend for the cup, and they’ve gotten off on the right foot for that. They’ve won their first two games, and have looked pretty good while doing it. They’re on the right side of the possession game, and have scored 9 goals in those two games.
The one red flag so far, if you can even really call it that at this point, was Ben Bishop allowing 4 goals on 32 shots in the season opener. That likely played in to Andrei Vasilevskiy getting the next start, and if the difference in their play continues it will be Vasilevskiy’s net by the end of the season.