After closing out the decade in the seemingly most appropriate fashion, with a painful loss to Pittsburgh, the Senators get back to work tonight to usher in what I hear will be ten years of unparalleled success. Try to contain your excitement, folks. Here to keep you occupied in the advent of this next era of Senators hockey, we have this Thursday’s edition of links, news, and notes.
- After a scary injury during the aforementioned game between Ottawa and Pittsburgh, Penguins forward Jake Guentzel underwent successful surgery to repair his shoulder. Guentzel had scored his 20th goal of the season and 200th point of his career on the play and would have represented Pittsburgh at the all-star game in St. Louis. His timeline for recovery is approximately four to six months, thus ruling him out for the remainder of the regular season. For those who missed the game:/
- Speaking of all-stars, Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin has decided to honour the legacies of Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk in stating that he plans on foregoing the festivities in St. Louis, should he get enough fan votes to attend. At the moment Tyler Bertuzzi looks like Detroit’s lone representative at the game, and he plans on going. Other names from the division on the fan vote ballot include Patrice Bergeron, Steven Stamkos, Mitch Marner, and our beloved son, Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
- While fans await the all-star game at the end of the month, the league kicked off the new year with the Winter Classic, this year in Dallas, between the Stars and Predators. This one got ugly very early on as Corey Perry earned himself a game misconduct for dangerously elbowing Nashville defender Ryan Ellis within the first three minutes of period one. We should find out in the coming days what supplementary discipline the league deals to Perry. For those who missed the incident:/
Corey Perry with a bad hit on Ryan Ellis pic.twitter.com/DzUWE27gVV— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 1, 2020
Former Senator Matt Duchene manufactured a 2-0 lead for the Predators with a goal and an assist in the first frame. However, our old friend Ben Bishop had the final verdict as he made over 30 saves and the Stars came back for a 4-2 victory. Kyle Turris did suit up for Nashville in this one although he played just 12 minutes while recording two shots on goal.
- While on the subject of supplementary discipline, Blue Jackets coach (and Anthony Duclair fan club president) John Tortorella has received a $20,000 fine for post-game remarks made about NHL officiating after a loss to Chicago last Wednesday. No one should find this news too surprising as Tortorella has received eight prior fines from the league and three suspensions. I find this story fascinating, nonetheless. If for no other reason than the arbitrary nature of fines from the department of player safety. Considering the incident above involving Corey Perry, the league would issue a maximum fine of $10,000 assuming Perry was a first-time offender (he is not). To me, the league thus sends the message that a verbal tirade is twice as significant as an on-ice act that can result in long-term injuries. Players and coaches alike forfeit salary during suspensions.
- In a somewhat controversial move, Alexis Lafreniere will return to team Canada’s lineup for their quarter-final game against Slovakia at the IIHF world juniors today. It goes without saying that any team would gladly add a talent such as Lafreniere’s to their roster for an elimination game. However, team Canada may be guilty of a little bit of overkill here as the Canadians have more than twice as many goals for (17 to 8) and almost half as many goals against (13 to 22) compared to the Slovakian squad. Not to mention, team Canada handled its games against Germany and the Czech Republic for two victories without Lafreniere. History haunts this team like a ghost, though, and Canada may feel extra pressure to medal this year after getting eliminated in the semis in 2019. If Lafreniere’s knee has healed fully then there’s no harm in this push for exorcism. If, however, the Canadians plan on rushing this future star back prematurely, they do so for the most selfish of reasons./
The Sens play the Cats in Ottawa tonight at 7:30!