You know, after that coaching performance, I wouldn't be surprised if they ditch him in Sweden. Just a complete lack of defensive structure from start to finish. Embarrassing.
But enough about Derek Lalonde. Moving on to D.J. Smith, he and the Ottawa Senators will look to sweep the 2023 Global Series and win their third-straight game for the second time this season.
We've always been able to count on the Minnesota Wild to be the Toronto Maple Leafs of the West, what with their regular-season success, playoff futility, and ability to sign big-name free agents without considering the bigger picture.
This season, however, the Wild are 5-8-3, thanks to subpar goaltending from Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury. Goalies, man. Also, their penalty kill is dead-last in the league at 63.5%??? Is that real?!?!
Speaking of the Leafs, they're also one of the four teams taking part in the Global Series, and I've noticed something strange. You'd expect that each of the four teams would get one home game and one road game overseas, but the Sens actually been given home-ice advantage in both games, while the Leafs have been given home-ice advantage in neither of theirs. So Ottawa gets one less home game at the CTC, while the Leafs get an extra one at Scotiabank Arena. I wonder why that is?
Lines will remain the same as on Thursday, with the exception of Anton "Foursberg" Forsberg starting in lieu of Joonas Korpisalo, who's nursing a minor injury. Filip Gustavsson will start, and-oh god. You know exactly what's coming...
- OK, wow, the game's starting at 11:00 pm EST. That's really soon! RDS, TSN5, and TSN 1200 are your choices here.
- Can the Sens continue to outscore their troubles? Last season they would've made the playoffs with average finishing and goaltending, so if they just get back to where they were last year in terms of driving play (believe it or not!) they'll get there this time around.
- I'm not oblivious to Ottawa's defensive issues, but it's also important to consider the quality of personnel instead of pinning everything on coaching. None of those clips they break down during the intermission seem to feature the pairing of Jake Sanderson and Artem Zub. The team doesn't get "out-coached" when that top pair is on the ice. Instead, it's almost always Jacob Bernard-Docker, Travis Hamonic, and Jakob Chychrun.
- That said, one thing D.J. should do in an attempt to ice two decent pairings is to reunite Chychrun with Erik Brännström. The two were very solid in a small sample last season, and this would allow Tyler Kleven and Travis Hamonic to play very limited minutes, in which any instances of lackluster play would be compensated for by the other four.
- Alternatively, where is Maxence Guenette?
|Goals||Brady Tkachuk||10||Joel Eriksson Ek||8|
|Assists||Tim Stützle||16||Mats Zuccarello||12|
|Points||Tim Stützle||20||Mats Zuccarello||16|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||58||Kirill Kaprizov||56|
|Time on Ice/GP||Jakob Chychrun||24:39||Jonas Brodin||23:41|
|Penalty Kill %||76.6||21st||63.5||32nd|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||47.00||24th||47.56||22nd|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||44.82||29th||47.04||24th|