After a challenging season-opener on the road against one of the best teams in the east (and one that showcased the Ottawa Senators at their best and then their mediocre-est), I think we would all appreciate a win for the home opener against a Philadelphia team that has seen better days (i.e. they used to have Claude Giroux and now we do--so ha!).
- As always, Norris-Watch 2023 and Pinto-Watch 2023 will dominate the narrative from the perspective of Sens Fans. I guess you could make something out of Zack MacEwen facing off against his former club but that fourth line looks about the same with or without him to me.
- Matinees have always felt kind of cursed in Ottawa and it feels really bizarre not to have the first game of the season during prime time, even against a non-division opponent. Ottawa has a lot of weird factors working against them and this could end up a much closer game than the rosters suggest.
- Joonas Korpisalo played fine (I guess?) in a game when the whole team just kinda fell flat for the back half. He played about as well as the team in front of him and I don't know that we expected much more than that. I would love to see Anton Forsberg's triumphant return from such a devastating injury as an added touch to the home-opener but who's to say?
- The defence for the Sens looked equally adequate if occasionally overmatched on Wednesday. The top pairing has so much potential but you can tell Chabot and Chychrun haven't fully synchronized watches yet. Ditto for Zubderson. I think all three pairings will work out just fine based on talent alone but they'll need some more reps in real games.
- The Flyers played well in their season opener against the Blue Jackets in a battle of the teams who finished seventh and eighth in their division respectively last year. Columbus stinks a bit more than Philly but give the Flyers credit where due.
- In terms of what has changed and what hasn't for Philly since last year, Ryan Ellis remains sidelined indefinitely, and Rasmus Ristolainen has joined him on the injured list. Cam Atkinson and Sean Couturier, who both missed all of last season have returned from injury and could help offset the departures of Kevin Hayes and James Van Riemsdyk. I lowkey like what Danny Briere has done with the defence, jettisoning known garbage bags Anthony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov while bringing in Sean Walker (and also garbage bag Marc Staal).
- Sometimes Carter Hart plays pretty well so watch out for him I guess and also Travis Konecny. Now that Cam York and Bobby Brink have graduated, I would have loved to have seen them square off with Pinto and Lassi Thomson in a battle of the 2019 draftees but--ya know.
- ALFIE ALFIE ALFIE
Where to watch/listen: TSN5 RDS TSN1200 @1PM EST
Lines from Last Game
Joseph - Greig - Batherson
Kubalik - Chartier - Tarasenko
Kelly - Kastelic - Art Vandelay
Chychrun - Chabot
Sanderson - Zub
Brännström - Harmonic
Laughton - Cates - Konecny
Tippett - Frost - Atkinson
Deslauriers - Poehling - Hathaway
York - Sanheim
Staal - Walker
Seeler - Zamula