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Ottawa Senators Training Camp Check-In: October 8

The powerplay was indeed in session

NHL: OCT 07 Preseason - Senators at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Well, it’s another day without a Brady Tkachuk contract. We learned a few more things from the media, with Darren Dreger appearing on TSN 1200 to say that the Sens are confident with the offer they’ve made. I will not be commenting on this further, because other people are already talking about it and I know you’re all tired of this discussion.
  • What I’m actually here to do is to make fun of the Habs. The Sens faced off against Montreal last night for their second-to-last game of the preseason, and it was a whole lot of fun!
  • The game got off to an awful start, as Montreal scored off the opening faceoff and then again before four minutes had elapsed. Thankfully, though, the Sens answered only a few minutes later, with a powerplay goal coming courtesy of Josh Norris.
  • It’s worth noting that Tim Stützle spent much of this game on a line with Josh Norris and Drake Batherson, while Nick Paul took his spot on Shane Pinto and Connor Brown’s line. Both lines were electric all night. Is it possible that this is DJ Smith’s plan in case Tkachuk isn’t signed by the start of the regular season? It’s probably the combination that makes the most sense; Stützle is easily the team’s best lift winger after Tkachuk, and Paul has great chemistry with Brown. Plus, Pinto gets to play with a few guys who have more NHL experience than he does. Also, I can’t explain it, but Paul-Pinto-Brown is a line combination that makes me incredibly happy. Basically, I’m on board.
  • Shane Pinto scored the equalizer early in the third period, right after a powerplay had expired.
  • Only a few minutes later, Norris’s second powerplay goal put the Sens ahead by one.
  • One big story of the night was the powerplay, which had an incredible number of opportunities and was absolutely electric each time. This game could easily have been a lot more lopsided in the Sens’ favour just thanks to that powerplay. Was it that DJ Smith had finally done away with the neutral zone drop pass? Or were the Habs just that bad? Probably both.
  • Chris Tierney scored the fourth goal when he caught Stützle and Batherson at the end of a shift. The play went to video review, as it was somewhat unclear if it the puck had actually crossed the line. In the end, though, it was deemed a good goal. It seems like even when the refs are against the Habs, they’re still working in the Habs’ best interests: now they’re going to have DJ Smith thinking it’s okay to play Stützle and Tierney together. That is never, ever okay.
  • Unfortunately, the Habs shot back in the third period to pull within one, even though the Sens still had a huge advantage in shots.
  • Stützle did this:
  • It seems necessary to point out that Erik Brännström had an especially good game tonight, with an assist and several remarkable defensive plays. All the defensemen had good games, actually, and I would not be at all disappointed if this was the opening night lineup.
  • Unfortunately, Montreal tied the game right at the end of the third. We were headed to overtime.
  • The 3-on-3 overtime was absolutely heartstopping. Ottawa absolutely deserved to win. Unfortunately, though, they just couldn’t find the back of the net, and the game went to a shootout.
  • The shootout went on a bit longer than usual. Stützle, Zub and Batherson were all turned away, and Connor Brown scored but so did the Habs player. In the end, Josh Norris was the one to win it for the Sens, capping off a two-goal night with a shootout goal. It may not technically count as a hat trick, but in my heart it was a hat trick.