As we progress through the Ottawa Senators' pre-season, excitement for the team is growing. So far, we've seen some promising signs from players like Drake Batherson and Mathieu Joseph who are looking to have much better seasons than last year. We're also learning who among the young prospects we might expect to more of in Ottawa soon. Roby Järventie has distinguised himself while players like Jacob Bernard-Docker and Zack Ostapchuk may still need some development time yet.
Another bright spot so far has been the play of newly acquired Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalík, both of whom seem to have no problems fitting in and are setting high expectations for their production when the regular season gets underway.
There are lingering concerns about Josh Norris, he is out of the "no contact" jersey at least but we are yet to see him play in a pre-season game. Brady Tkachuk, who took a stick to the eye area, seems to be fine and is expected to play in one of the Hockeyville games.
The talk of the town this week was the choice to place Lassi Thompson on waivers despite his mostly strong showing so far in camp. Other players placed on waivers were Josh Currie, Dillon Heatherington and Garrett Pilon.
As the team traveled to Nova Scotia, they did some trimming prior to the trip with the following players sent back to Belleville:
- Goalies: Leevi Meriläinen, Mark Sinclair
- Defense: Ryan MacKinnon, Donovon Sebrango, Djibril Toure
- Forwards: Angus Crookshank, Phillipe Daoust, Tarun Fizer, Graham McPhee, Brennan Saulnier
The Sens also held their fanfest yesterday before leaving to Nova Scotia. The season ticket holders' breakfast seemed to be a huge win for both the fans and players.
Game 5 Preseason Hub: Ottawa Senators vs Florida Panthers, 4pm EST
The Ottawa Senators are in Sydney, Nova Scotia today and have been making many fans very happy with their red carpet arrival.
Brady Tkachuk: Certified day maker 😊 pic.twitter.com/8LpJt7sbne— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 1, 2023
Lots of happy hockey fans in Nova Scotia today. https://t.co/lQpO4jffP2— ottawasenators (@ottawasenators) October 1, 2023
Nobody gets the crowd going like Sparty does! pic.twitter.com/huoFAxA8fc— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 1, 2023
The Sens seem to have focused their star power for the game tomorrow against the Pittsburgh Penguins as none of the top stars will be playing in today's affair. However, the lineup will still be interesting to watch for all of the line-up battles that are to come.
The projected lineup
- The preseason isn't the time to panic, but there are high concerns for the 4th line going into the season and these are valid. So far the play from the bottom 3-5 players projected to make the 4th line has been very uninspiring. Today would be a great opportunity for those folks to assuage some of our fears.
- The latest Shane Pinto news (or lack thereof) is frustrating because it seems like the Sens' attempt to squeeze the cheapest deal possible out of their RFA will cost him time to get ready for the season ahead. Negotiations are part of pro sports,
- Speaking of Pinto, will Joseph's recent play make the rumours to trade him calm down or increase in volume? After all, his trade value may have just gone up.
- Erik Brännström will be manning the first unit today and will likely be playing a lot of minutes – though maybe not the 30 from the other night.
- Josh Bailey is another player trying to prove he deserves a chance, but he hasn't done himself many favours. He gets another chance today and while I think the team might still sign him, it doesn't seem like it would be a popular decision amongst the fans.
- You can catch today's game on the NHL Network or NHL Digital YouTube Stream. You can listen on TSN1200 or Unik 94.5 FM