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Week Ahead: I - October 1 to 7

The first week of the season starts with last season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, followed by a division rival.

NHL: Preseason-Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Capitals @ Senators

Thursday, October 5th 7:30 PM

Prev game : -
Next game : Canadiens, Saturday, October 7th

Hot : Evgeny Kuznetsov - 4P (1G, 3A) in 3 preseason games
Cold : -
Injured : -

What a way to start the season. Although Erik Karlsson’s injury means that we won’t get to see another instalment of the Karlsson - Ovechkin rivalry, the Sens will have enough to worry about against last season’s top point-getters.

After another disappointing playoffs, the Caps had a tumultuous offseason. Out are Marcus Johannsson (trade - NJ), Nate Schmidt (expansion), Justin Williams (FA - CAR), and Karl Alzner (FA - MTL). In their place? Prospects Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker (an Aussie!), Christian Djoos, and Madison Bowey. Yes, the names in the latter group sound less formidable than the former, but re-toolings happen. Rest assured, this is still a team with the firepower of Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Backstrom, and Oshie, and the excellent transition defending from Carlson, Niskanen, and Orlov. And unlike Ottawa, their goaltenders may truly be a 1A and 1B, with Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.

They stumbled out of the gate in the preseason, but they are still the Washington Capitals. Will The System be up to the task?

Red Wings @ Senators

Saturday, October 7th 7:00 PM

Prev game : Wild, Thursday, October 5th
Next game : @Stars, Tuesday, October 10th

Hot : Gustav Nyquist - 6P (3G, 3A) in 4 preseason games
Cold : -
Injured : Tyler Bertuzzi (IR - wrist), Johan Franzen (IR - concussion)

Projected by many to miss the playoffs for the second straight year (that still sounds weird), the Senators have to get points against teams like the Red Wings if they want to be in an Atlantic Division playoff spot when the season ends.

Unlike the Capitals, the Wings didn’t do much this offseason — partly due to their dire salary cap situation. They brought in defenders Trevor Daley (PIT) and Luke Witkowski (TBL), while forward Mitch Callahan signed in Edmonton. However, the story so far is that flashy rookie Andreas Athanasiou still remains un-signed, as rumours of him signing in the KHL run amok. This isn’t an opponent to take lightly as Nyquist and Tatar have buried Ottawa before, but their aging defence corps (and Cody Ceci’s future Danny DeKeyser) don’t scare me. Win this one, please.