Sixth-worst record, eighth-best goal differential. Ottawa Senators hockey, baby.
The serotonin boost from any victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, let alone the carnage we saw yesterday, cannot be understated. Suddenly it feels like the team has life again.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, we've got some early-season shenanigans. At 2-8-1, Connor McDavid's Edmonton Oilers are still in a race to the starting line, while tonight's opponent, the Vancouver Canucks are 9-2-1, tied for third in the league. They're one of the few teams with comparable finishing to Ottawa but also have been much better defensively and in goal. Safe to say they'll need to thatch Catcher Demko on an off-night to get back to .500. Or pray for the return of Artem Zub.
On the second half of a back-to-back, expect Anton Forsberg to get the start in goal. Based on the ice time he's had thus far, Nikolas Matinpalo will be the likely scratch if Zub does indeed return to the lineup.
Here's a refresher of what the lines looked like yesterday:
- Mathieu Joseph appears to be back in form after a brutal 2022-23 campaign. Lots of people pointed to his first few games in 2021-22 as an anomaly, but the reality is that Joseph has been a decent finisher more often than not during his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. And the better linemates he's had in Ottawa have allowed his acumen as a playmaker to come through, with 8 assists on top of 3 goals in 11 games.
- While Ottawa boasts five point-per-game forwards and a point-per-game defenseman, the Canucks are on another level. Elias Pettersson has 21 points in 12 games, while Quinn Hughes has 20 in 12. Brock Boeser and Filip Hronek are also above a point per game among others.
- On the other hand, the Canucks have played a hockey game against the San Jose Sharks this season, while the Senators have not. It's going to be interesting to see whether or not either of these unsustainably good offenses can keep things going a bit longer.
- After going pointless in seven games to start the season, Dominik Kubalik has scored 4 goals in 4 games. The only truly disappointing forward right now has been Drake Batherson, who only has 5 points in 11 games.
- Where is Maxence Guenette?
- Once again, it's a 7:00 p.m. EST start, and the game is available on RDS2, TSN5, and TSN1200.
- From NHL.com and NaturalStatTrick.com
|Goals||Brady Tkachuk||8||Brock Boeser||10|
|Assists||Tim Stützle||12||Pettersson, Hughes||15|
|Points||Tim Stützle||15||Elias Pettersson||21|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||44||Quinn Hughes||45|
|Time on Ice/GP||Jakob Chychrun||24:35||Filip Hronek||23:57|
|Penalty Kill %||73.7||22nd||77.3||18th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||46.54||26th||50.96||11th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||43.83||29th||45.77||27th|