Game 36 Preview: Blue Jackets at Sens

The Sens return home to face the high-power Columbus Blue Jackets

The Ottawa Senators return home tonight to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in their second last game of 2017. For those of us that might have been hoping for the beginning of an extended hot streak to save the season, Wednesday night’s affair in Boston didn’t exactly answer our prayers. It feels like this has been written so many times already this year, but we may be reaching an inflection point: Melnyk has made it clear that he will ask Dorion to cut the budget if the team isn’t in contention for the playoffs and even the most ardent optimists are hard up against it now. A couple of losses this weekend and I wouldn’t be surprised if this roster is being re-shaped by next week. These aren’t exactly halcyon days.

As for tonight’s affair, here’s how Boucher is projected to deploy his squad:

Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Pyatt - Brassard - Stone
Hoffman - Chlapik - Pageau
Paul - Thompson - Burrows

Oduya - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Harpur - Chabot

Condon (starter)


  • It’s hard to get too worked up about a coach’s line-up choices when the team is so hopelessly out of the play-off race, but starting Tom Pyatt alongside Derick Brassard and Mark Stone doesn’t seem likely to produce the desired result
  • A small source of solace on Wednesday was the strong play of Thomas Chabot and Filip Chlapik. I was very impressed with Chlapik in the pre-season and he hasn’t disappointed in his limited time with the big club. Lining up alongside Mike Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau could lead to some big things tonight, as well
  • Despite a sellar 22-13-3 record, the Blue Jackets are only third in their division and without sustained excellent play are in very real danger of falling back to a Wild Card position. Life is tough in the Metropolitan
  • Fortunately for Ottawa, Columbus comes into tonight’s game with a litany of injuries to some of their top players: Cam Atkinson, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Murray and Alex Wennberg will all miss tonight’s game while Zach Werenski is doubtful/

Here are some stats for the team via, as always, and

Team Stats

Goals against/GP3.4430th2.563rd
Shots against/GP33.025th29.32nd
Powerplay %16.726th23.54th
Penalty Kill %76.227th83.34th
Corsi (5v5, Score & Venue Adjusted)46.3229th53.972nd
Fenwick (5v5, SVA)46.9427th54.011st

Player Stats

GoalsMatt Duchene27Brad Marchand34
AssistsErik Karlsson (out)53Brad Marchand51
PointsKarlsson/Stone (both out)62Brad Marchand85
ShotsMike Hoffman253David Pastrnak236
TOI/GPErik Karlsson (out)26:44Zdeno Chara22:53

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