It's hard to believe that this is the first time the Sens and Habs have faced each other this year. The Habs faced the Sabres three times before they got around to playing the Sens. Funny how that works. The good news is that Habs fans haven't missed anything. Ottawa has been pretty awful this year. While they're not Edmonton awful, they are pretty close. It's not exactly a problem of no one player being particularly bad (though I would posit the names of Milan Michalek and Colin Greening) as much as it is a problem of no one player being particularly good.
There are signs of life. The Cameron era in Ottawa has started off on a cautiously hopeful 3-1-1 roll, Kyle Turris has proven to be an adequate replacement for Spezza, Mark Stone might just be the best 6th rounder to come out of the 2010 draft - Dalton Prout notwithstanding, and last night the Hoffman - Zibanejad - Ryan line lit up the goal lamp against the Ducks scoring three goals.
It might be a good time for the Sens to face the Habs as Ottawa faces a rather precarious Montreal lineup. Leading scorer Max Pacioretty could be out tonight, Mike Weaver is also out, and the team is juggling line combos trying to find the right mix. To wit, Bournival could be skating alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher if Pacioretty doesn't play. Sven Andrighetto has been recalled and is playing alongside Plekanec and Sekac, and David Desharnais has been moved from centre to the wing alongside Lars Eller in Eller's first game back from injury. Additionally Eric Tangradi has been sent down to Hamilton, as has Dustin Tokarski (in a conditioning stint). Joey MacDonald will dress as the back-up to Carey Price.
To be fair, I'm a fan of the line juggling especially when it means youth amongst the top six, but I do worry about the Habs losing their best forward even if it isn't for an extended period (Pacioretty took line rushes earlier today).
Puck drop is at 7:00 PM ET (8:30 PM in Newfoundland). You can watch:
In Canada (English): City
In Canada (French): TVA
In the US: NHLN-US
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live
|Max Pacioretty||Alex Galchenyuk||Brendan Gallagher|
|Sven Andrighetto||Tomas Plekanec||Jiri Sekac|
|David Desharnais||Lars Eller||PA Parenteau|
|Brandon Prust||Manny Malhotra||Dale Weise|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Sergei Gonchar|
|Nathan Beaulieu||Tom Gilbert|
Scratched: Mike Weaver, Michael Bournival
Injured: Bryan Allen
As for the Sens, here's how they're shaping up
|Clarke MacArthur||Kyle Turris||Mark Stone|
|Mike Hoffman||Mika Zibanejad||Bobby Ryan|
|Colin Greening||David Legwand||Milan Michalek|
|Erik Condra||Jean-Gabriel Pageau||Alex Chiasson|
|Chris Phillips||Erik Karlsson|
|Jared Cowen||Cody Ceci|
|Mark Borowiecki||Eric Gryba|
Injured: Zack Smith, Chris Neil, Marc Methot, Patrick Wiercioch
Check out the opposing side at Silver Seven