Saturday, March 20, 2010

Game Day Preview: Sens in Dallas

I apologize to the few of you who have been reading the blog on the lack of post game blogs. To be honest, there is enough negativity out there, and the last few games haven't given me anything positive to say. As my mother always said, if you don't have ANYTHING nice to say...

Anyways. Let's see how the boys stack up against the Stars shall we?

FORWARDS: The Sens managed to get 3 goals the other day (woohoo!!!) and much of that had to do with finally getting the 4th line back together. With the injury to Michalek (who was having a good game at the time) that might be disrupted again. I know we have Winchester and Dono on the side, but I'd like to see Zach Smith called up now, but maybe that's just me. Same old story for Ottawa, need Spezza, Alfie and Kovalev to step up. Dallas on the other hand spanked the Sharks 8-2 two games ago, and have an offense that is averaging 2.80 goals per game, good for 10th in the league. Brad Richards is finally earning that huge contract and is 9th in the league with 77 points. Dallas has been inconsistent this year, but I still think they have the upper hand in the offensive zone.

DEFENCE: Looks like Cory will stick with the defensive line-up from last game, I guess because he will get more offense out of Campoli than Carkner. Uncharacteristic giveaways by Phillips in recent games will hopefully be erased. More interestingly, hopefully Sutton doesn't become afraid to hit after that game changing penalty for a clean hit last game. Karlsson will hopefully return to his pre-injury form soon, because the Sens need that. Dallas is anchored by Stepane Robidas who very well could have made the Canadian Olympic team. After that they have Trevor Daley who is basically a better version of Campoli. After that, there aren't too many names I recognize. This might explain why they are 25th in the league with 3.06 goals against per game. I'll give Ottawa the edge, assuming they can play to what they are capable of.

Goaltending: Ahhh. the hot topic of Ottawa

Leclaire vs Lehtonen: Soo... the mirror image of each other? Let's see, Leclaire drafted 8th overall to expansion Columbus, Lehtonen 2nd overall (the next year) to Atlanta. Both goalies have shown incredible promise, both putting up one amazing year in their respective hockey holes while sustaining enough injuries to fill an entire anatomy course. Now have both been traded to teams looking at them as a high risk/high reward goaltending solution. I guess if they are the same I have to call this a draw?

Special Teams:
Powerplay: Ok we get it, this is getting redundant. The Sens cannot score on the powerplay to save their lives, so it matters not that the Stars have only the 15th ranked powerplay in the league. They are by default better. Guns like Robidas, Richards, Eriksson and Neal make for a solid unit.

Penalty Kill: Again. Redundant. The Sens have a sick penalty kill (thank GOD) and Dallas has a worse penalty kill than Edmonton. Seriously. So I think again this is a win for Ottawa, meaning a draw overall on special teams.

Players to Watch

Ottawa: Peter Regin. Might have the chance to play on the top line. He excels when playing with better players, but hopefully he doesn't have Shannon-itis (over passing when on with Spezza)

Dallas: I am a big James Neal fan, as well as Jamie Benn. I'll be watching these two young guns today, but Neal is the real deal (wow rhymes) as a budding power forward. 25 goals might get added to today.

Consensus Predictions

Young: Man. I was right in that we would lose last game, but today I'd rather put some faith in the boys. I don't know how they'll do it, but I guess if Leclaire plays like he did in Vancouver, the Sens have a great shot. 4-2 Sens

Oakes: This has to be over. We all know what happened when Ottawa broke the last 5 game losing streak. Will Chris Campoli score another late goal like he did against the rangers?.. probably not. Hopefully with Pascal getting the start it will be similar to the goalie switch up Mike Brodeur gave to the Senators when he got his first shutout(and broke the first streak). The Senators haven't lost to the stars since 2005 why should they now...

4 - 0 Sens
(Pascal takes the reins)

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