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Game 19 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Los Angeles Kings

Well, there’s still a game to play isn’t there?

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

As you may have heard, there has been a wee bit of drama surrounding the Ottawa Senators in the last twenty-four hours. Following last night’s loss against the San Jose Sharks, word leaked that the team had informed Matt Murray he would be placed on waivers.

To say the news was shocking would be an understatement. Yes, Murray has struggled — at times quite badly. But he’s also in year two of a major four year deal, and, whether you think he “deserves” to be waived or not, waiving a player of his stature is just simply not a thing that is done. In his media availability today, DJ Smith explained that if Murray made it through unclaimed his stay might not be a short one:

Murray, apparently, is quite unhappy with the decision. I can see both sides here: Murray’s been bad, but the team in front of him is maybe the worst in the league. It’s also the case, as I said above, that big ticket signees are not often put on waivers when they’ve played less than ten games in a given season. No matter if it “works” or not, it’s certainly another dramatic moment for a team that didn’t really need one.

Meanwhile, the Sens have another game to play tonight against the Los Angeles Kings. L.A, like their other California brethren Anaheim and San Jose, are in the midst of surprisingly positive seasons given their recent commitment to a rebuild. They’re no one’s idea of a Cup contender, but some of their young prospects are starting to blossom and Anze Kopitar appears to be fighting off Father Time with eighteen points in his first nineteen games. They won’t be pushovers.

Game notes:

  • In a less dramatic waiver wire move, the Sens claimed Adam Gaudette from Chicago this afternoon. Gaudette’s a centre who’s racked up fifty-eight points in 168 games. He doesn’t profile as much more than a depth piece but the Sens could use some depth down the middle, I suppose. Here’s how hockeyviz’s model sees his impact as of this writing:
hockeyviz.com
  • In a corresponding move, the Sens re-assigned Parker Kelly to Belleville.
  • As of this writing, Smith has yet to announce the rest of his roster but we do know that Filip Gustavsson will be starting in net.
  • Puck drop is 7 pm EST, and you can watch on Sportsnet ONE or TVAS2. Radio is available, as always, courtesy of TSN1200.

Stats:

Stats are, as always, courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Sebastian Aho 19
Assists Drake Batherson 21 Sebastian Aho 26
Points Drake Batherson 34 Sebastian Aho 45
Shots Brady Tkachuk 133 Andrei Svechnikov 130
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:08:00 Jaccob Slavin 23:51:00

Team Stats

Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.76 21st 3.47 5th
Goals Against/GP 3.32 24th 2.37 1st
Shots/GP 30.3 19th 32.9 12th
Shots Against/GP 33.3 27th 28.3 2nd
Powerplay % 18.4 22nd 24.8 10th
Penalty Kill % 80.0 15th 88.7 1st
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 46.66 28th 55.25 3rd
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.82 24th 53.99 5th