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Game 1 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs

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Your preview and open thread all in one!

NHL: OCT 06 Senators at Maple Leafs Photo by Jeff Chevrier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Well, here we are. It’s the start of another season, and it’s time to reacquaint ourselves with Ottawa Senators hockey. Tonnes of digital ink have been spilled this offseason over how bad Ottawa will be this year, but it’s unimportant right now. Tonight, the Ottawa Senators take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, so we’ll all be hoping for an embarrassing win for Ottawa. The Sens have managed to get under Toronto’s skin in recent years, and let’s hope tonight is no exception.

We know via Bruce Garrioch that Craig Anderson is tonight’s starter. From yesterday’s lines, it looks like one of Filip Chlapik or Mikkel Boedker is the odd forward out, with Cody Goloubef the healthy scratch on defence. Lines will be updated after the morning skate, but here are yesterday’s practice lines:

Tkachuk - White - Brown
Duclair - Tierney - Ryan
Ennis - Anisimov - Batherson
Chlapik/Boedker - Pageau - Sabourin

Chabot - Zaitsev
Brannstrom - Hainsey
Borowiecki - DeMelo
Goloubef

Anderson (starter)
Nilsson

(UPDATE: Boedker and Goloubef are the scratches.)

Details

Start: 7:00 PM EST
TV: SN, SN360, TVA
Radio: TSN1200

Thoughts

  • That top line is going to be awful to play against. I’m really looking forward to watching Connor Brown and Brady Tkachuk work together to piss off everybody
  • I did wonder if Nikita Zaitsev or Ron Hainsey was going to get first crack at being Thomas Chabot’s partner. We’ll see if Chabot-Zaitsev even stays consistent for the first game
  • I think Artem Anisimov surprised us all in preseason by proving he’s actually not washed quite yet. Let’s see what he brings to the table now that the season is on.
  • I’m curious how those second/third lines go down. I’m wondering if maybe Chris Tierney should be the more defensive option and get Tyler Ennis on his wing, while Anisimov could be a good complement to Anthony Duclair
  • Interesting to see Craig Anderson get the start. He’s definitely earned that honour in what could be his last season, but I do expect Anders Nilsson will take more of the starts as the season goes on
  • Will Cody Ceci or Jason Spezza be the first ex-Senator with an embarrassing gaffe against their old team? (UPDATE: Looks like Spezza is a healthy scratch tonight)
  • I predict a 5-2 Ottawa win, and then no more Sens wins until November.

Stats (from last season)

All stats from NHL.com, except Corsi/Fenwick from NaturalStatTrick.com

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Category Player # Player #
Goals Brady Tkachuk/Vladislav Namestnikov 2 Mark Stone/Reilly Smith 5
Assists Jean-Gabriel Pageau/Connor Brown 3 William Karlsson 7
Points Jean-Gabriel Pageau/Vladislav Namestnikov 4 Mark Stone 10
Shots Brady Tkachuk/Anthony Duclair 17 Max Pacioretty 28
Time On Ice Thomas Chabot 26:00 Shea Theodore 21:44

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
Ottawa Senators Vegas Golden Knights
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.40 25th 3.71 7th
Goals against/GP 3.80 26th 2.71 10th
Shots/GP 29.4 23rd 33.9 8th
Shots against/GP 33.0 23rd 33.3 25th
Powerplay % 0.0 31st 29.2 7th
Penalty Kill % 81.8 15th 92.6 2nd
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 47.16 22nd 51.35 10th
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA) 47.95 22nd 50.98 14th