Five Thoughts For Friday: Pinch of (Pre)Seasoning
As the preseason winds down, the tension ramps up.
With three more preseason games under their belt, the Ottawa Senators are getting closer and closer to the games counting for real. While a 1-2 record in the past six or some odd days leaves a bit to be desired, there is a good deal of positives going into the season.
So, without further ado, here are Five Thoughts for Friday, September 27th, 2019.
Use the Szwarz
Since he was signed this summer, it was all but guaranteed that Jordan Szwarz would be a key player in Belleville this season.
In the first of two games against the Vancouver Canuck this week, he didn’t do himself any favours in his bid to make the NHL roster.
Here's the hit on Oscar Fantenberg. Jordan Szwarz got five and a game for his part in the hit, which was in the numbers. #Canucks #Senators pic.twitter.com/K0efMKoKax— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) September 24, 2019
The former Providence Bruins captain took a run at Oscar Fantenberg from behind, and earned himself a 5min major, and a game misconduct. He was also one of four Senators to be cut, yesterday.
Honestly, this is just a guy trying to do what he can to make the pro roster. Love the intensity, just have to know when to tone it down. Szwarz isn’t a dirty player, and will likely be a huge addition for the B-Sens.
Continuing with the theme of Senators players throwing questionable hits against the Canucks, Chris Tierney found himself on the giving end of a bad check too.
What are you doing, Chris Tierney? pic.twitter.com/Kjb6OJAnQt— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) September 24, 2019
Tierney has since said that he didn’t mean to check Brock Boeser into the boards with such violence, and can even be seen in the clip checking to ask if the young star is alright. That, however, didn’t stop Canucks fans from calling for his head.
Tierney didn’t play in the second game of the double-header, but I get the sneaking suspicion that this isn’t quite over yet. We’ll have to wait until the regular season to find out for sure, though.
How Much ‘chuk...
Though his elder brother was the story this week, given his contract extension with the Calgary Flames, Brady Tkachuk did he best to remind everyone that he is not someone to forget about.
Get used to these types of goals by Brady Tkachuk pic.twitter.com/gu55cJLD9Y— Kevin Lee (@BringBackLee) September 26, 2019
Our beautiful boy posted 2G and 2A in Round 2 against the Canucks, and looks primed to be a leader on this year’s team. His forecheck and net-crashing are relentless, he’s physical, and responsible in his own end. Brady Tkachuk is everything we thought he wouldn’t be, and then some.
Let’s just hope we don’t trade him in his prime.
While there has been the typical preseason flexibility with the Sens’ line combinations of late, some guys are starting to stick together through multiple games.
Ennis, Anisimov, and Ryan have been attached since their arrivals, and the line of Duclair-Pageau-Batherson is starting to get some significant playing time as well. Most impressive, however, is the apparent new top line of Tkachuk-White-C. Brown.
Brady and Brown are a force in both ends of the ice, and White’s skill and two-way ability complements them nicely. Not to mention, the two lovable wingers are going to annoy the absolute Christ out of everybody this season.
Hopefully, we can see these guys generate some chemistry, and become consistently productive line partners throughout the season. If not, who cares? Lafreniere or Byfield baby.
Paul Out of Time?
Depending on how you look at it, Nick Paul being cut was again was either shocking, or the exact opposite.
On one hand, the big, physical forward has made tremendous strides since last year. He looks more confident and poised, especially with the puck on his stick, and could may only be roadblocked by the veteran rental guys.
On the other, Paul has still yet to find any measure of NHL consistency. It will be interesting to see what his stint in Belleville looks like, given that he will likely be without at least one of Drake Batherson and Logan Brown.
Those two reignited the scoring in his game, and if Paul wants to find his way back to the bigs, he needs to get it going again.