Game 77 Preview: Florida Panthers @ Ottawa Senators

Both team should want the same result tonight

Six games left, people. We can do this. This season that has dragged on and on and on is coming to an end, and then we can have stress-free playoff hockey. And let’s not talk about what comes after that.

Tonight’s game against the Panthers will feature Craig Anderson in net. Ben Harpur will be a healthy scratch again for Christian Wolanin. Colin White returns as an emergency call-up to replace Marian Gaborik, who Boucher now refers to as “week-to-week” (with one week remaining in the season). Here are the lines per TSN 1200:

Dzingel - Duchene - Ryan
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Paajarvi - Smith - White
Chlapik - McCormick - Burrows

Chabot - Karlsson
Borowiecki - Ceci
Claesson - Wolanin


Some traditional thoughts:

  • Referring to White as an emergency call-up likely means the Sens still have one call-up left this season. Bruce Garrioch suggested on Tuesday that it could be Filip Gustavsson. We’ll wait and see. Personally, my money’s on Gabriel Gagne for an NHL shot before the season’s done.
  • I’m not sure I get the point of healthy scratching Ben Harpur over and over. Sure, I don’t love his game, but he’s on a one-way contract for the next two seasons. Probably best to try him in a bunch of different scenarios in a lost season and find out what you’ve got. Maybe more I don’t understand the point of giving him a two-year extension and then scratching him over and over. I’m hoping he turns out like Mark Borowiecki - a guy who had no NHL experience before his first one-way contract, who looked lost early, but who seems to have come into his own after a couple years as a third-pairing guy.
  • I’d be alright with swapping Tom Pyatt with Colin White or Filip Chlapik. Pyatt has been among the least controversial players this season, but I still think we’d all agree that his quiet, responsible game doesn’t jive well with Mike Hoffman’s “goals or bust” style
  • Mark Stone will probably play again before the end of the season. He remains the team’s leading scorer with 62 points in 58 games, despite many of the team’s players having played in all 76 to date.
  • Chris Wideman will not play before the end of the year. Boucher confirmed this morning that doctors have shut him down. Barring a 2017 Clarke MacArthur moment, we may have seen the last of Wideman as a Senator.
  • Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts had a great opening point: why not allow healthy scratches to be brought in like in baseball? You can swap a guy in the press box for a guy on the bench, but the guy leaving the game now can’t come back. It’d help teams in case of injury, but also could give you the rookies a chance to play in the third period of a blowout. Call me intrigued.
  • The Senators are 30th in the league, two points behind each the Canucks and Coyotes, but with one more game to play. The Panthers are three points out of the playoffs with a game in hand on the Devils. A regulation Florida win tonight would do wonders for both team’s hopes, just sayin’.
  • By the way:
  • /

      Some stats:

      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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