After an emotional win over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night, Bobby Ryan and the Ottawa Senators are back in action against the Detroit Red Wings for a game that is by definition, a hockey game.
Let’s be real: while the Red Wings just got formally eliminated from playoff contention, you could’ve realistically counted both of these teams out from the start of the regular season. Neither are playing for anything other than a) pride, and b) opportunity to showcase themselves as a player deserving of regular minutes next year at this point.
On that note, the fact that Josh Norris is still up with the Ottawa Senators is something that makes this game worth watching. Colin White and Anthony Duclair were both out for extra skating after practice, a good sign that they’re not ready to return from injury, so we’re expecting the same lineup for D.J. Smith’s group:
Balcers - Tierney - Brown
Paul - Anisimov - Hawryluk
Boedker - Peca - Sabourin
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Englund - Jaros
Meanwhile, here’s what we’re expecting from Jeff Blashill’s Red Wings:
Mantha - Filppula - Gagner
Helm - Glendening - Erne
Abdelkader - Nielsen - Ehn
Nemeth - Biega
Daley - Hronek
Cholowski - Goloubef
- A Filip Zadina — Brady Tkachuk showdown would’ve been another reason to watch tonight, but unfortunately, Zadina’s been sidelined for the last few weeks with a lower body injury.
- Esteemed Senators legend, Cody Goloubef, will be making his return to the nation’s capital for the first time tonight. He’s Detroit’s regular third-pairing defender, and generally lines up alongside prospect Dennis Cholowski.
- Unlike the Sens, the Wings don’t have a strong contingent of pro-ready prospects. Other than Zadina and Cholowski, RD Filip Hronek has been receiving the most development. He leads the Wings in average time-on-ice.
- Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin, and Darren Helm are the only Wings to post a CF% above 50%. Ottawa has Rudolfs Balcers, Bobby Ryan, Mike Reilly, Brady Tkachuk, and Filip Chlapik in the green.
- Balcers, Tierney, Brown will be an interesting line to watch, because they’re all RFAs that are striving to be a part of the long-term future here, and have interesting components of their game that fit a third-line role. Tierney and Brown can penalty kill, while Balcers was used on Belleville’s powerplay.
- As Josh Norris is on an emergency recall, he’ll eventually be sent back down to Belleville. I’d like to see Colin White get time between Tkachuk and Ryan to see if that all-American group could get some chemistry going.
Here are some statistics, with most metrics from NHL.com, except for Corsi% and xGF% from NaturalStatTrick.com:
|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 %||76.1||26th||77.1||26th|
|Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)||48.25||26th||53.13||4th|
|xGF% (5v5, SVA)||49.74||19th||51.94||8th|