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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 35 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Game 35 Ottawa Senators Columbus Blue Jackets
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Boone Jenner 16
Assists Drake Batherson 21 Jakub Voracek 25
Points Drake Batherson 33 Jenner, Bjorkstrand 27
Shots Brady Tkachuk 100 Zach Werenski 115
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:07:00 Zach Werenski 26:28:00

Team Stats

Game 33 Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins
Game 33 Ottawa Senators Pittsburgh Penguins
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.78 21st 3.26 11th
Goals Against/GP 3.59 28th 2.53 4th
Shots/GP 29.1 24th 34.7 6th
Shots Against/GP 33.8 27th 29.9 8th
Powerplay % 20.0 15th 18.1 21st
Penalty Kill % 78.4 20th 89.5 2nd
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 44.73 31st 54.11 6th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.31 25th 55.50 4th