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Game 36 Preview: Blue Jackets at Sens

The Sens return home to face the high-power Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Ottawa Senators return home tonight to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in their second last game of 2017. For those of us that might have been hoping for the beginning of an extended hot streak to save the season, Wednesday night’s affair in Boston didn’t exactly answer our prayers. It feels like this has been written so many times already this year, but we may be reaching an inflection point: Melnyk has made it clear that he will ask Dorion to cut the budget if the team isn’t in contention for the playoffs and even the most ardent optimists are hard up against it now. A couple of losses this weekend and I wouldn’t be surprised if this roster is being re-shaped by next week. These aren’t exactly halcyon days.

As for tonight’s affair, here’s how Boucher is projected to deploy his squad:

Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Pyatt - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Chlapik - Pageau
Paul - Thompson - Burrows

Oduya - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Harpur - Chabot

Condon (starter)


  • It’s hard to get too worked up about a coach’s line-up choices when the team is so hopelessly out of the play-off race, but starting Tom Pyatt alongside Derick Brassard and Mark Stone doesn’t seem likely to produce the desired result
  • A small source of solace on Wednesday was the strong play of Thomas Chabot and Filip Chlapik. I was very impressed with Chlapik in the pre-season and he hasn’t disappointed in his limited time with the big club. Lining up alongside Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau could lead to some big things tonight, as well
  • Despite a sellar 22-13-3 record, the Blue Jackets are only third in their division and without sustained excellent play are in very real danger of falling back to a Wild Card position. Life is tough in the Metropolitan
  • Fortunately for Ottawa, Columbus comes into tonight’s game with a litany of injuries to some of their top players: Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Murray and Alex Wennberg will all miss tonight’s game while Zach Werenski is doubtful

Here are some stats for the team via, as always, and

Team Stats

Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Category Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Value Rank Value Rank
Goals/GP 2.68 25th 3.25 6th
Goals against/GP 3.44 30th 2.56 3rd
Shots/GP 30.7 24th 32.8 11th
Shots against/GP 33.0 25th 29.3 2nd
Powerplay % 16.7 26th 23.5 4th
Penalty Kill % 76.2 27th 83.3 4th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted) 46.32 29th 53.97 2nd
Fenwick (5v5, SVA) 46.94 27th 54.01 1st

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins
-- Player # Player #
Goals Matt Duchene 27 Brad Marchand 34
Assists Erik Karlsson (out) 53 Brad Marchand 51
Points Karlsson/Stone (both out) 62 Brad Marchand 85
Shots Mike Hoffman 253 David Pastrnak 236
TOI/GP Erik Karlsson (out) 26:44 Zdeno Chara 22:53