Alright, I know the NHL regular season is still more than two months away but I already find myself looking forward to the upcoming season. With a new coach and a number of young players poised to make the jump, it’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Ottawa Senators.
With that in mind, here are the Top 5 games to look forward to on the 2011/2012 schedule.
#5- Ottawa Senators @ Winnipeg Jets- Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The Jets are back and on this Tuesday in late November the Sens make their first visit to Manitoba. Sure they may just be the Thrashers in disguise but I can’t wait to see the response from the fans in the city of Winnipeg. The old Jets logo is a classic and while there is still no confirmation on what they’ll wear next season, it will be nice to have another Canadian team in the mix next season.
#4- Ottawa Senators @ Detroit Red Wings- Friday, October 7, 2011
Looking ahead to this day I can already picture just how long the work day is going to seem. The Ottawa Senators open their season in the Motor City against perennial contenders in the Red Wings. A season opening game on a Friday night is just about as good as it gets. This game will also feature new Sens bench boss Paul MacLean making his return to Detroit.
#3- Edmonton Oilers @ Ottawa Senators- February 11, 2012
For the second time on the season, the Sens take on the young Edmonton Oilers, this time on Hockey Day in Canada. This is always one of my favourite days on the NHL schedule and the Sens get to host a game on what is always a great day for the game. Add in the intrigue of a couple of young, rebuilding hockey clubs and this figures to be one of the best days on the schedule.
#2- Minnesota Wild @ Ottawa Senators- Tuesday, October 11, 2011
When the schedule was first released, this looked like a bit of a dud for a home opener. Aside from the Calder Cup rematch angle, there wasn’t a ton of intrigue to go along with a visit from the Wild. That was until Dany Heatley was traded to the Wild in an off-season shocker. Suddenly the Sens get to play their home opener against Heatley and his new mates. The home opener is always fun but when you add in the Heatley Hate it should certainly make for a wild night at SBP.
#1- The NHL All Star Game- Sunday, January 29, 2012
It may not be on the Sens schedule but this year’s NHL All Star game will be played in Ottawa and is without a doubt, one of the most anticipated dates on the schedule. The game itself has taken a lot of heat over the years but this is still a fantastic opportunity for the city and the organization. The festivities begin on the Thursday of that week which means that for those four days, Ottawa will be the centre of the hockey world. Health permitting, you would have to think Daniel Alfredsson will be the Captain of one of the teams at the event. It should make for an awesome few days for Sens fans.
The full schedule can be found here. Which games are you looking forward to?
Long-time Senator Patrick Lalime has announced his retirement from the NHL.
Lalime was a good goalie here in Ottawa for a long time and gave the team stability in net. Many fans remember one bad playoff outing but the reality is Lalime was a reliable goaltender, both in the regular season and playoffs.
Lalime notched 21 playoff victories in Ottawa, including five shutouts. He posted an impressive 1.77 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Lalime is expected to take on a role with RDS during Sens telecasts next season.