Regardless of your position on #TeamTank, everyone can agree on the result we want tonight: Go Sens Go.
Just two points separate the Ottawa Senators and the San Jose Sharks in the standings, and at the time of writing, the Sens currently own the third and fourth overall picks for the upcoming NHL Draft. It looks nearly impossible for the Sens to end up anything less than two top-seven picks — lottery results notwithstanding — a far cry from where Doug Wilson thought his team would be when he included an unprotected first-round pick in the Erik Karlsson trade two seasons ago.
The team announced a swap on defence after their win against the New York Islanders, with Christian Wolanin set to make his season debut tonight in lieu of Christian Jaros. Other than that, we’re expecting the same lineup for D.J. Smith’s crew:
Duclair - Tierney - Brown
Paul - White - Hawryluk
Balcers - Peca - Boedker
Chabot - Hainsey
Reilly - Zaitsev
Wolanin - Englund
Meanwhile, here’s what we expect from Bob Boughner’s San Jose Sharks, with Aaron Dell announced as the starter in goal:
Meier - Thornton - Labanc
Sorensen - Kellman - Noesen
Karlsson - True - Gregor
Simek - Burns
Vlasic - Ferraro
Davidson - Heed
- With California’s COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, Santa Clara’s Public Health department recommended that the public avoid large gatherings like sports events where they’ll be in close proximity to a large amount of people. At the moment, the Sharks haven’t rescheduled any of their activities at SAP Center, but it’s definitely a situation worth keeping an eye on as the Sens traverse the state this week.
- The Sharks haven’t really been healthy since the calendar turned to 2020. They shut down their best forward (Tomas Hertl) and best defenceman (Erik Karlsson) for the year, and prospect Jacob Middleton also went down with injury last week.
- Wolanin returns to the lineup, but since the team hasn’t had a practice, I’m unsure as to who he’ll be lining up with. I’m imagining that he’ll play on his typical left-side, meaning that Andreas Englund or Mike Reilly — who looked good last time out — may need to slide over.
- There’s not too many non-white players leading their team in goals, so kudos to Anthony Duclair (23) and Evander Kane (24) on their solid seasons. While Kane’s line has caché, the Meier - Thornton - Labanc trio will likely be the Sharks’ most dangerous tonight.
- Colin White and Jayce Hawryluk have been really productive since being put together, with Hawryluk generating speed on the wing and able to chase down pucks, allowing White to focus on distributing and getting into quiet areas of the ice. I’d love to see them both shoot a little more, especially with goal-scoring history in both players’ past.
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|