While the Bruins have elected to rest the likes of Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, MacLean will go with pretty much a full line up against the Bruins. It sounds as though MacLean gave a few guys the option of resting but they felt it was important to finish the season strong.
While the Sens will have most of their stars in the line up, they will give Craig Anderson the night off. That means Ben Bishop, and his new heritage themed mask, will get the nod in goal.
Erik Karlsson and Filip Kuba both missed what MacLean described as an "optional morning skate" but will be in the line up against the Bruins. Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.
Anton Khudobin will get the start for the Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM with the game available on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
As I mentioned yesterday, I was given a pretty cool opportunity this morning as the Sens organization provided me with media access for tonight's game against the Bruins. That meant I had the opportunity to attend the morning skate, the post practice locker room availability and also means I'll be heading back to watch the game from the press box later tonight.
Amazing to get that kind of recognition from the organization and to have a chance to see how the pros do it.
A little bit about my experience...
After arriving fashionably early, I entered the building to pick up my pass. Told the security guy I was with SensChirp and I was on my way. And by "on my way" I mean lost and not really sure where to go. But rather than walk around with a confused look on my face, I decided instead to walk confidently towards the rink, grab a seat and wait for practice to start.
That's where I made my first mistake. In choosing my seat, I foolishly chose the seats traditionally reserved for Bryan Murray and his staff. We'll call that rookie mistake #1. After getting the heads up from a helpful representative from the Senators, I settled in for the morning skate.
First thing I can tell you is that anticipating the line up based on the morning skate is harder than you might think. The tempo is quick so you have to really be on the ball in order to pick up on the combinations and determine who's out there and who isn't. At one point I was convinced Spezza wasn't out there only to realize I had just missed him in the line rushes. And it took me a good five minutes to realize Karlsson and Kuba were not on the ice.
As a fairly brief morning skate wrapped up, the media contingent began to make their way towards the locker room. Keep a low profile, I kept telling myself. Let the pros do their job and just stay out of the way. And that's what I did, hopping from the Spezza scrum, to Bishop's stall and then to Chris Neil's.
In the chaos of the locker room media availability, my goal was to just not bump into anyone. As I paused briefly to decide my next move, I could hear a voice yelling out, "Loooogooo, Looogooo!". Having heard a little bit about locker room etiquette before this morning, I knew what this meant. Someone had foolishly stood on the Sens logo in the centre of the room.
Only one problem. That fool was me! Rookie Mistake #2.
I quickly stepped aside and looked up to see the all too familiar glare of Chris Neil looking back at me. I've seen that look on television and always thought, man am I ever glad I don't have to encounter that in real life. A quick, "Sorry about that," was met with a friendly nod and a bit of a smile. I had narrowly avoided a confrontation with the Sens toughest player on my first day as media.
From there, the media contingent quickly made their way upstairs to the media room where Coach MacLean would answer questions. "You aren't allowed to step on the stairs either" Ian Mendes joked. I settled in for the coach's address and after the incident in the locker room, decided it might be best for me to skip the question I had planned.
All in all, an overwhelming and humbling experience. While I was only there for part of their day, I can see just how tough it is being in the media. It's fast paced and a heck of a lot harder than it looks.
Now if only I can avoid sitting in someone's seat in the press box tonight, I'll consider the experience a success. For now, I must return to the comfort of my parent's basement.