Game 46 Preview + Open Thread: St. Louis Blues @ Ottawa Senators
The one without Chabot
At some point, we may get to see the Ottawa Senators play a game with a fully healthy roster. I’m not sure when that point will arrive, but I’m sure it will eventually. For now, we’re left to dream because yet another Sen has fallen victim to the injury bug: Thomas Chabot will miss today’s contest against the St. Louis Blues. The Sens’ top defenseman was forced from Sunday’s game against the Washington Capitals after he was hit behind the net by Tom Wilson. This morning, DJ Smith confirmed the absence was caused by the hit, but expressed hope that Chabot wouldn’t be out longterm. In what is essentially a lost season, it would behoove Ottawa to be very careful in how they handle Chabot’s health. Hopefully he takes as long as is necessary to return fully healthy.
In the meanwhile, the rest of the Sens will have to stare down a St. Louis squad fancied by many to make a deep run in the postseason. The Blues are not quite among the league’s elite, but they’re just a notch below and with some better goaltending from Jordan Binnington they could push their way into contention.
Here’s how DJ Smith is expected to line the Sens up for tonight’s affair:
Sens morning skate.— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) February 15, 2022
Murray- in starters end.
- Alex Formenton also left the Sunday game against Washington after taking a high, and dirty, hit but does not seem to have suffered lingering ill-effects and will play tonight.
- With Chabot out, look for the Sens to take on more of a “defense by committee” approach to ice-time distribution. If Smith does intend to keep Holden and Zub together, I’d expect them to play as the first pair.
- If there was ever a time for Erik Brännström to grab the bull by the horns and establish himself in the defense’s pecking order, this is it. He’ll be quarterbacking PP1, and I expect he’ll see 20+ minutes all told. He was quite good in a similar spot last year after Chabot went down, let’s see if he can do it again.
- Logan Brown has had some decent success this season in St. Louis, and was signed to an extension last week, but he’ll be a scratch tonight. Guess that means we’re in for the Zach Sanford Revenge Game.
- Perhaps the biggest key to the Sens winning tonight’s game will be keep things at 5v5, as the Blues have dominated on special teams: they have the second ranked power play, and the fourth ranked penalty kill.
- St. Louis’ 5v5 numbers are so underwhelming, in fact, that I’m left wondering if they aren’t something of a paper tiger.
- Puck drop is 7 pm ET, you can watch on TSN5 or RDS, or you can follow along on TSN1200 radio./
All stats, as ever, are courtesy of NHL.com and naturalstattrick.com:
|Goals||Josh Norris||33||Jared McCann||25|
|Assists||Tim Stützle||32||Yanni Gourde||26|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||59||Jared McCann, Yanni Gourde (tied)||43|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||261||Jared McCann||174|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot (inj.)||26:23||Adam Larsson||22:10|
|Penalty Kill %||80.5||13th||75.1||26th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||47.91||21st||49.03||19th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||47.10||24th||47.34||23rd|