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Game 73 Preview: Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators

The battle of the league’s two biggest droppers from last season

NHL: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oh how the might have fallen. Not even a year ago, the Oilers were making playoff noise thanks to Connor McDavid’s sophomore season, while the Senators were within a goal of the Stanley Cup Finals. This year, both are not even going to the playoffs.

Tonight’s lines aren’t entirely clear, but we know Craig Anderson starts, and if Christian Wolanin just plugs into where Patrick Sieloff was, here are your lines (with Brent Wallace’s warning to number the lines and pairings as you choose):

Dzingel - Duchene - Hoffman
Paajarvi - Smith - Pyatt
McCormick - Pageau - Ryan
Gaborik - Chlapik - Burrows

Chabot - Ceci
Borowiecki - Claesson
Harpur - Wolanin

Anderson (starter)

Some thoughts:

  • Christian Wolanin makes his NHL debut! It’s mostly getting hyped because there’s nothing else to hype in this Sens season, but Colin gave us a few reasons to get excited yesterday
  • Patrick Sieloff got sent down, but not before scoring his second career NHL goal in his second career NHL games. He became the first player to score two goals in his first two games for two different teams. And as the video below shows, both were super weird goals:
  • That’s probably about the best d-pairings you could make with this lineup. Each pairing has a puck-mover (Chabot, Claesson, Wolanin) and more of a stay-at-home guy (Boro, Harpur... Ceci?). When you play an all-world guy like Erik Karlsson, it works to have him with another puck-mover because they can just dominate play. But when someone like, say, Chris Wideman comes back, I don’t know how good he’d be with someone like Wolanin. At the very least, Harpur probably won’t be on the top pairing tonight, which is probably more fair to him.
  • I expect we’ll see Wolanin with some powerplay time tonight, provided the Sens get at least one powerplay
  • Connor McDavid is on pace for 101 points, which would be the most by a player on a non-playoff team since rookies Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin scored 102 and 106 respectively back in 2005-06.
  • Poor Chlapik, though I guess this is definitely the process of spreading out the offence across the bottom three lines.
  • The last time these teams met, Ottawa won 6-0 and we were all excited because Erik Karlsson was coming back possibly next game. How times change.

Some stats:

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