A fun thing about being an Ottawa Senators fan these days is that if you look at the rosters of the some of the best teams in the league, you can find several prominent ex-Senators leading the way.
Wait, did I say fun? I meant it’s excruciating!
Zdeno Chara left the Sens under somewhat different circumstances from Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson, and Mark Stone, but it’s still difficult not to look at the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, and Las Vegas Golden Knights and not be at least a little bit envious. For the next couple of years, this seems likely to be our fate: hoping that the young Sens of today’s team become the stars of tomorrow. Some days it’s hard to remember that Stone was once an unheralded prospect whose skating was considered so sub-par that he would never be a true difference-maker.
As for Chara, when he first came to the Sens he was basically a throw-in piece to complete the blockbuster Alexei Yashin trade. The former Norris-winner has Boston in second in the entire league, still trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division though, and he’s playing the third most minutes of any Bruins skater despite the fact that he turns 42 in less than two weeks.
The Bruins are probably the best team in the league that you don’t hear much about. The B’s look good by virtually every measure and have one of the very best lines in the league to boot. If the Sens are searching for a team after which they should model themselves, they could do worse than Boston.
As for tonight’s game, well, I can’t say I expect it will be competitive but it could be a good learning experience for the young Ottawa squad.
Here’s how Marc Crawford is expected to line them up based on this morning’s skate:
Tkachuk Pageau Duclair
Smith White Ryan
Gibbons Lindberg Boedker
Balcers Tierney Paajarvi
Here are some stats, courtesy of Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com:
|Penalty Kill %||79.4||22nd||80.8||13th|
|Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted)||44.49||31st||51.61||9th|
|Fenwick (5v5, SVA)||45.01||31st||52.36||9th|
|Goals||Brady Tkachuk||16||Vladimir Tarasenko||28|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||36||Ryan O'Reilly||41|
|Points||Thomas Chabot||49||Ryan O'Reilly||67|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||170||Vladimir Tarasenko||235|
|TOI/GP||Thomas Chabot||24:03||Alex Pietrangelo||23:51|