Tonight, the Ottawa Senators play host to the Arizona Coyotes in their annual Hockey is for Everyone night. For the Sens, the outcome of this game doesn’t matter much in the sense that the team would probably be better off losing to improve their draft position. It’s been a testament to the players and the coaching staff that the team continues to play hard in spite of staring down what is clearly a lost season. The talent may not be there, but you cannot say that the team has cheated the fans on effort this year.
Arizona, however, finds itself in the second Wildcard spot in the Western Conference and desperately wants to make a return to the play-offs after several years of ignominy. You don’t trade for Taylor Hall, an unrestricted free agent that has made no promises he will stay beyond this season, if you aren’t banking on something of a run. For the Coyotes, these are the types of games they absolutely must win.
Here’s how DJ Smith is expected to line Ottawa up for tonight’s affair based on this morning’s skate:
Namestnikov - Tierney - Batherson
Paul - Anisimov - Duclair
Chlapik - White - Ennis
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Borowiecki - DeMelo
- As aforementioned, tonight is the Sens’ Hockey is for Everyone soiree. Here’s how the Sens describe HIFE:
Hockey is for Everyone™ uses the game of hockey - and the League’s global influence - to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities.
We support any teammate, coach or fan who brings heart, energy and passion to the rink. We believe all hockey programs - from professionals to youth organizations - should provide a safe, positive and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation and socio-economic status.
- Noted Good Guy Mark Borowiecki is the team’s Hockey is for Everyone ambassador. He is expected to return to the line-up after missing the last game to be with his wife as she gave birth to the couple’s first child.
- The Sens fell to the Avs 3-0 on Monday night, but it’s fair to say that they were competitive throughout the match. Marcus Hogberg was forced into several strong saves, but the Sens generated at least their share of good chances. Now, if only they could get a few finishers...
- The Coyotes have achieved their success by getting contributions up and down their line-up. Nick Schmaltz is the leading point scorer at 39 points, but Arizona also has six (!) players with at least 30 points. That’s also excluding Taylor Hall who has 20 in 24 games with Arizona and 45 for the season if you combine his time in New Jersey and the desert.
- The Coyotes have also gotten excellent goaltending from all three of the players that have occupied their crease this year. Although currently injured, Darcy Kuemper’s .929 SV% in all situations has him tied for second in the league.
|Goals||Anthony Duclair||23||Anze Kopitar||21|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||33||Anze Kopitar||41|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||43||Anze Kopitar||62|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||258||Jeff Carter||182|
|TOI/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:02||Drew Doughty||25:51|
|Penalty Kill %||78.8||20th||82.8||7th|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||47.23||27th||48.07||26th|
|Fenwick % (5v5, SVA)||47.71||27th||48.19||24th|