The Ottawa Senators completed their first official on ice session of training camp on Sunday with more than 2,500 fans looking on.
The session featured about 60 minutes of drills, followed by a quick flood and then another 45 minutes including a scrimmage. Paul MacLean told the media his team was going to skate this week and they wasted no time getting down to business on Sunday. The team is back on the ice today at noon.
A reminder that all on ice sessions are open to the public. For a look at the complete training camp schedule, go here.
While I was unable to attend the first on ice session, I did watch parts of it through the club’s online stream. Certainly looked like an up tempo skate with everyone clearly excited to be back on the ice. You don’t want to take too much from the first on ice session but the line combinations Paul MacLean used to start camp were interesting.
No surprises in the top six here but the most interesting combo has to be that fourth line, which includes Binghamton stand out Mike Hoffman. Jim O’Brien, who many have penciled in as 4th line centre, started on the “fifth” line on Day One.
Without any preseason games available to try out different combinations, it will be interesting to see if MacLean does any shuffling of these trios. If he sticks with these lines, Mike Hoffman could find his way into the opening night line up.
One look at the defence pairings on Day One and you can see why Murray is in the market for an upgrade on the back end. Beyond that first pairing, there are a whole lot of questions marks in those pairings. I think we’ll see some shuffling of those combinations throughout the mini-camp as the Sens attempt to determine exactly what they have on the back end.
Goaltending is talked about as a strength for this team and all three looked sharp to start the season. It will be fascinating to watch Anderson, Bishop and Lehner push each other throughout training camp.
Right back at it at noon today. Will post updates from that session as they become available.
- When the Ottawa Senators take the ice in Winnipeg this Saturday, they will be one of three games that officially mark the return of the NHL hockey. The Hawks are in Los Angeles to take on the defending champs and the Penguins are in Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. A reminder you can catch the Sens season opener on CBC.
- While addressing a weak blue line remains a priority for Bryan Murray, it looks like the organization is willing to wait to see what they have in Patrick Wiercioch, Andre Benoit and Mark Borowiecki. The Sens have talked to a few teams over the course of the past couple days and I would assume, have an idea what it would take to get a deal done. The Chicago Blackhawks remain the team mentioned most often in rumours.
- A reminder that tickets for the Senators first ten games will go on sale to the public at 10:00 AM today. You can visit capitaltickets.ca or head down to the Scotiabank box office.