It has been nearly three weeks since the Ottawa Senators last played a hockey game.
After an extended Olympic break, the Sens finally return to the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre. And there will be no time for Ottawa to ease into things either as they get set to play one of the biggest games of their season against Daniel Alfredsson and the Detroit Red Wings. The Wings currently hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, three points clear of the Sens. A huge two points on the line in Ottawa tonight.
Detroit is coming off a 2-1 overtime win in Montreal last night. They lead most of the way, before giving up a late tying goal by Brian Gionta. Yet another three point game and probably the worst possible result for the Senators.
Normally you would look at a match up against a team on a back to back and see it as an advantage but tonight I’m not so sure. Watching that Wings/Habs game last night there was clearly a ton of rust for both teams so it may be an advantage for Detroit having already played a game post-Olympics. It will be interesting to see what kind of jump the Senators have early in this one. With only two players at the Olympics, they should be a well rested bunch.
Here is how Paul MacLean has lined his guys up most of the week. Game Day post is a little earlier than usual so we’ll have to wait until the morning skate to confirm this line up.
Robin Lehner gets the start in the Ottawa goal. Craig Anderson is in Florida to be with his wife as they await the birth of their child. Andrew Hammond has been recalled from Binghamton and will dress as Lehner’s back up.
The Daily Chirp- Tis the season for trade rumours. With Bryan Murray making it known league wide that he’d like to add a tough, power forward type to play alongside Jason Spezza, there have been no shortage of rumours surrounding the Ottawa Senators. The latest name to come up- St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart. Stewart has one year remaining at a cap hit of $4.15 mil. The Blues have been linked to some of the bigger names on the market including Ryan Miller and Ryan Callahan and may need to make some room under the salary cap. Stewart is one of the guys believed to be available. He would certainly fit the bill as a power forward type and with an extra year on his deal, wouldn’t be a straight rental. Seems like a decent option.