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Game 11 Hub: San Jose Sharks @ Ottawa Senators

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DeMelo and the Dudes against the Big Barracudes

Detroit Red Wings v Ottawa Senators Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Fatigue seemed to catch up with Anders Nilsson and for a change Ottawa’s goaltending begat the loss on Friday night against the New York Islanders whom the Senators actually hung around with in terms of shot attempt-volume. The action resumes on Sunday with a matchup that presents something of a quandary for Team Tank.

The lines at Saturday’s practice looked something like this:

Tkachuk-LoBro-Duclair
Namestnikov-Tierney-Ennis
Paul-Pageau-CoBro
Chlapik-Beaudin-Sabourin
Ryan-Boedker (Extras)

Chabot-Zaitsev
Brannstrom-Hainsey
Borowiecki-DeMelo
Goloubef (Extra)

Anderson (Start)
Nilsson

The San Jose Sharks should have a chip on their shoulder following a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs that saw pretty much nothing go right for the team in teal. Kevin Kurz posted these lines for the Sharks:

Marleau-Couture-Labanc
Kane-Hertl-Meier
Thornton-Gambrell-Sorenson
Gregor-Goodrow-MKarl

Vlasic-Burns
Dillon-EKarl
Ferraro-Heed

Dell (Ottawa will get another backup)
Jones

Game Notes:

DJ Smith has opted to healthy scratch Bobby Ryan and recall Filip Chlapik from Belleville. Accordingly to capfriendly.com Ottawa’s seven (!) highest-paid forwards are either on the injured reserve or watching from the press box. Vladislav Namestnikov has the highest cap hit of any Senators forward playing tonight at $3.25M. This move handicaps Belleville somewhat as they now have to ice four lines without Chlapik, Logan Brown, Nick Paul, JC Beaudin, Rudolfs Balcers (injured), and Jack Rodewald (traded to the Florida Panthers last night). I won’t get to write about coach Mann healthy-scratching any of the team’s skilled young forwards any time soon.

Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo get another opportunity to act as a thorn in the side of the team that shipped them off in one of the biggest trades in franchise history. Mikkel Boedker has found himself in and out of the pressbox this season so the coach will decide if he plays against his former squad after sitting out Friday’s match (he skated as the extra again at Saturday’s practice). Rudolfs Balcers remains on the injured reserve and the lack of updates from the team has gotten me worried about the young Latvian’s season. He looked like one of Ottawa’s ripest young forwards and I had anticipated that he would stick to the roster full time after an impressive year.

The Sharks special teams have performed admirably thus far. The story remains, as we all know, the goaltending. Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have both stopped less than 90% of the shots they’ve seen at five-on-five. Speaking of five-on-five, the Sharks rank in the same stratosphere as Ottawa in some shot-generation metrics at even strength, and have really got their advantage over the Senators by virtue of the aforementioned special teams and their elevated shooting percentage. Ottawa has the goaltending edge for once this year!

So about that tanking conundrum, the Senators possess both their own (how novel) and the Sharks’ first round picks this season. So I would argue that ideally Ottawa might want to win this game because we know the Senators will end up in a lottery spot while the Sharks could still get back on course. Every Sharks “L” counts in Ottawa this season.

Oh and the Senators traded away the best defender of this era/perennial Norris Trophy candidate/future first ballot hall of famer yada yada yada here, have some stats (provided as always by the indispensable naturalstattrick.com) :

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators San Jose Sharks
Ottawa Senators San Jose Sharks
Category Player # Player #
Goals Vladislav Namestnikov 4 Evander Kane 6
Assists Connor Brown 8 Brent Burns/Logan Couture 8
Points Thomas Chabot/Connor Brown 8 Brent Burns/Tomas Hertl 10
Shots Brady Tkachuk 38 Brent Burns 33
Time On Ice Thomas Chabot 26:29 Brent Burns 26:36

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators San Jose Sharks
Ottawa Senators San Jose Sharks
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.38 26th 2.62 22nd
Goals against/GP 3.37 25th 3.44 26th
Shots/GP 30.9 16th 27.5 30th
Shots against/GP 34.6 30th 31.8 20th
Powerplay % 6.1 31st 25.0 7th
Penalty Kill % 81.4 13th 92.5 1st
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 45.14 29th 48.73 23rd
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA) 46.32 28th 47.10 27th