Game 31 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Edmonton Oilers
Time to get another coach fired?
Coming off a decisive victory over Calgary two nights ago, the Ottawa Senators have a chance to really get something going with a late night matchup against a desperate Oilers team.
Before all their games got postponed, the Senators were just beginning to claw their way out of the league’s basement, with the first line of Tkachuk, Norris and Batherson leading the charge. It’ll be an uphill battle to say the least if they want to salvage their season, but a win over Edmonton would certainly provide a boost of confidence.
Meanwhile, the Oilers are in an absolute tailspin after starting this season looking like contenders. They’re riding a 5 game losing streak and coming back from an extended break after a COVID-19 outbreak. It sounds like a loss to Ottawa could be the last straw. Could the Sens get another coach fired tonight?
We don’t know the line combinations for tonight yet, but these were the lines at practice yesterday:
Sens Friday practice lines from Edmonton.— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) January 14, 2022
(No Stützle, Sabourin or CBrown)
Tkachuk Norris Batherson
Formenton Paul Ennis
Sanford Gambrell Watson
Bishop Tierney Gaudette
Stützle will draw in on the second line, which means Paul will probably be sent down to the third. My guess is that one of Gambrell, Tierney and Bishop will sit out, but I don’t know who. No word yet on who starts in net. This page will be updated as soon as we get that information.
- Getting a coach fired would be very 2020-21 Sens, but beating the Edmonton Oilers would not. Ottawa went 0-9 against this team last year.
- The Oilers will be without their third leading scorer tonight, as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is injured. McDavid and Draisaitl each have more than double RNH’s points, though, so we’ll see if that matters.
- Birthday boy Tim Stützle draws back into the lineup after entering COVID-19 protocol earlier this week. With the Oilers having last change, he might find himself matched up against McDavid and Draisaitl for much of this game.
- Speaking of Draisaitl, Stützle talked about him in his pregame media availability. Apparently the two had been texting each other about how much they were looking forward to playing together at the Olympics, before the NHL pulled out of the tournament. It’s too bad that won’t happen after all.
- Connor Brown is out with a broken jaw after taking a puck to the face during the warmup in Calgary. No one has been called up to replace him, so either the injury isn’t too serious or the team is quite confident in the guys they’ve been sitting in the press box.
- You may have noticed that defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker was briefly reassigned to the taxi squad after the Calgary game before being called up this morning. It looks like the Sens are basically doing with him what they did with Brännström last year, which is to say they’re sending him down on non game days to save a few bucks. Welcome to Ottawa, JBD!
- Adam Gaudette draws into the lineup in place of Scott Sabourin. He hasn’t had many chances to prove himself since being claimed off waivers earlier this season, but maybe his healing crystals can help give the Sens a win here.
- As the stats below indicate, the Oilers play high-event hockey, so this could be a high scoring game. It will be especially important for the Sens to stay out of the penalty box, as the Oilers boast the best powerplay in the league. Three guesses why.
- It’s a late game, so I wouldn’t blame anyone for going straight to bed after it’s over, but if you do feel like staying up just a little bit later, it might be worth it, as Brady Tkachuk will be the guest on after hours.
- Game starts at 10pm EDT. You can watch live on CBC, TVAS, SN or CITY or follow along on TSN 1200 radio./
As always, all stats are courtesy of NHL.com and naturalstattrick.com.
|Penalty Kill %||80.0||15th||88.7||1st|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||46.66||28th||55.25||3rd|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||46.82||24th||53.99||5th|
|Goals||Josh Norris||18||Sebastian Aho||19|
|Assists||Drake Batherson||21||Sebastian Aho||26|
|Points||Drake Batherson||34||Sebastian Aho||45|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||133||Andrei Svechnikov||130|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||27:08:00||Jaccob Slavin||23:51:00|