Tonight, Les Senateurs head to Regin, Saskatchewan to play the Tampa Bay Lightning in what should be a battle of improved teams. The game is at 9:00 PM ET, so it’s a latie. The Bolts added Victor Hedman, Mattias Ohlund, Matt Walker, and Alex Tanguay. Pretty much the games last year in which the Sens scored plentiful on the Lightning won’t happen again. Ottawa also plays former Sen Andrej Meszaros who heads into his second season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. So, obviously could heat up tonight. Here’s what the lineup will be. Note Brian Elliott will play the whole game unless unforseen circumstances happen.
Michalek – Spezza – Alfredsson
Foligno – Shannon – Kovalev
Regin – Fisher – Cheechoo
Ruutu – Kelly – Neil
Kuba – Karlsson
Cowen – Phillips
Carkner – Lee
As you see the offense looks good tonight and even though Tampa also has some serious depth they don’t have any good blue-chip prospects like we do, so that’s advantage one for us. Fisher goes back to centre for the game even though I’d expect he’ll be RW for the season, while Cheechoo switches from LW to RW. It will be interesting to see how the 4th line performs, it’s the first game together and eventually a sneak preview of what they look like together. Zack Smith, Shean Donovan, and Christoph Schubert, all bubble players tkae the night off. On defense 7 are supposed to play today and it’s likely a last chance for Matt Carkner and Brian Lee to show off their skills. Kuba and Karlsson spear the offense from defense while Cowen play his 2nd pre-season game with Chris Phillips while Alex Picard and Anton Volchenkov take the night off. Brodeur backs up Elliott as well.
Sens players get to see Tampa’s new looks defense which is still new so they are trying to “mesh” together. A more experienced defense means more results while Antero Nittymaki gets the game for Tampa. We owned him last year, and the 2 games Elliott played against Nittymaki, Elliott won 2-0. Pretty much it won’t be a hard game for Ottawa tonight unless chemistry goes wrong and Tampa starts working together well. So, my prediction is…
Ottawa 4 (Karlsson, Alfredsson, Shannon, Neil) Tampa Bay 0
Pre-Season Record: 1-3
Hopinh the “toolshed” of Brandt Centre tonight is packed to see Canada’s favorite team play! GO SENS GO!!!