The Senators are flying high after back-to-back 5-2 victories over the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning over the weekend. The offence erupted, the defence kept the shot totals low, and penalties became less of an issue as the game wore on.
Do you want more good news?
- D.J. Smith noted that "there won't be any limitations on what Josh can do." Noted that getting his legs back and repetition is all he needs after not playing regularly in a year. Smith reassured reporters that Norris felt he was ready a while ago, but the doctors wanted to wait another week or two.
- Lineup-wise, Norris is suiting up alongside Kubalik and Batherson and I imagine, he'll receive somewhere between 13-16 minutes tonight. Norris was put in his spot on the revised PP1 with Jake Sanderson at the top of the umbrella, while Chabot is on PP2 with Chychrun, Kubalik, Tarasenko, and Giroux.
- Tim Stützle had a maintenance day in practice yesterday, which is always worrying given that we're (checks notes) a week into the season. D.J. Smith noted that his star forward is good to go and it'll be worth keeping tabs on his ice-time. Thankfully, Ottawa's home-heavy schedule will help maximize Stützle's rest.
- Norris' return has meant that someone needs to be scratched. Currently, it looks like it's Zack MacEwen. Interestingly, Rourke Chartier has moved down to centre the fourth line, moving Mark Kastelic – who's struggled through camp and the start of the year – to right-wing. Allowing the bruising forward to get in on the forecheck and not have to be low in the defensive zone might help with his positioning difficulties.
- Washington is 1-1 to start the year. They were blanked by hated rivals Pittsburgh in their season opener, but rebounded on Monday with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames.
- Head coach Spencer Carberry has a lot to work on with his team, which looks better on paper than their actual results. Washington has averaged a 41% CF% and 35% xG% over their two games.
- Obviously, it's only been two games, so it's not worth reading too much into those numbers. My key insight? The big boys are still talented – Washington's top line is still their most dangerous, as is the Sandin - Carlson pair. The rest of their lineup hasn't played up to their potential, though.
Where to watch/listen: SN, RDS, NHLN or listen on TSN1200
Lines from last game
Joseph - Greig - Tarasenko
Kubalik - Norris - Batherson
Kelly - Chartier - Kastelic
Chabot - Chychrun
Sanderson - Zub
Brännström - Hamonic
McMichael - Kuznetsov - Oshie
Milano - Backstrom - Phillips
Malenstyn - Dowd - Protas
Sandin - Carlsson
Fehervary - van Riemsdyk
Johansen - Jensen