Game 54 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Winnipeg Jets
Well folks, the end now really draws near with just two more Senators games after today and with only the season finale against Toronto at home in Ottawa. As far as Ottawa’s opponent today goes, they’ll probably operate on autopilot down the stretch as they’ve all but guaranteed that they’ll start the postseason on the road versus the Edmonton Oilers. And even if the Jets don’t quite rest their starters for the last couple of games, they’ll take every precaution and for Ottawa that means not having to deal with Nik Ehlers and also seeing a slightly thinner Winnipeg blueline.
Ottawa hasn’t played quite as poorly against the Jets as they have against, say, the Oilers but they still have a losing record of 3-5-1 while getting outscored 21-30 (that averages to one goal per game). Even with Connor Hellebuyck in the crease for Winnipeg, Ottawa has a fighting chance here with the Jet’s aforementioned roster management. Look for old friend Dylan DeMelo on the Jets’ first pairing and rejoice knowing that Logan Stanley will stay in the pressbox where he can’t injure any more Senators.
Ottawa ran these lines at practice on Friday (note the abcence of Alex Formenton who missed part of the last game but ultimately returned to close it out):
Paul - White - Dadonov
Stützle - Pinto - Brown
Dzingel- Tierney - Abramov
Mete - Zaitsev
Brännström - Zub
Alsing - Bernard-Docker
Winnipeg skated with these lines this morning:
Stastny - Dubois - Perreault
Copp - Lowry - Appleton
Harkins - Thompson - Lewis
Morrissey - DeMelo
Forbort - Poolman
Heinola - Benn
- Even without Ehlers, the Jets have a bunch of offensive weapons and a lethal powerplay so just like we said in the games Ottawa played against the Edmonton Oilers: stay out of the box! Ottawa’s penalty kill has played better of late but they won’t win this finale against the Jets without playing disciplined hockey.
- I talked about Victor Mete in the last recap but I feel it bears repeating that this guy went from scratch in Montreal to a now in-a-pinch top-pairing defender and he has looked good in the process.
- True to their team identities, the Jets have out-volumed Ottawa (54.88 score- and venue-adjusted five-on-five corsi-for percentage) as well as any of Ottawa’s opponents while the Sens have kept it close in terms of expected goals in the same situations (51.42 head-to-head for Winnipeg).
- Ottawa’s powerplay has for the record done well enough against the Jets’ penalty kill with 99.01 CF/60 and 6.75 xGF/60 (Ottawa only had higher powerplay rates against Montreal).
- As always, these stats come courtesy of naturalstattrick
- Catch the game on SN, City, and TSN1200 at 7:00PM EST (even though it’s in Winnipeg)/
|Goals||Connor Brown||19||Kyle Connor||22|
|Assists||Thomas Chabot||25||Mark Scheifele||37|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||35||Mark Scheifele||56|
|Shots||Brady Tkachuk||207||Kyle Connor||153|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:17||Josh Morrissey||23:29|
|Penalty Kill %||79.1||18th||80.3||14th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||47.7||23rd||48.3||18th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||47.3||22nd||46.2||24th|