Red Wings Come to Town as Ottawa Hosts Detroit at CTC


The Sens are back at home tonight, and hopefully good fortune comes with them too.

The Ottawa Senators play host to division rivals The Detroit Red Wings this evening at the Canadian Tire Centre. This marks the first game of a four game home stand for the Sens as they hope to get back into the win column against an always tough Red Wings club.

Ottawa: 5-3-2


Detroit: 6-2-3

Canadian Tire Centre

TV: Sportsnet 1, Radio: TSN 1200, Streaming on Gamecenter GamePlus


Matchup History

The Senators haven’t faced the Red Wings this season, but already this year it won’t be quite as interesting when the two clubs do collide as Detroit will be without ex Senator Daniel Alfredsson.
The Alfredsson saga has been well trodden in these parts, so I won’t rehash here. The Wings have said they’d love to have him, but Alfy’s back has continued to ail him from the offseason right through to now, just past Detroit’s tenth game of the regular season. With every passing day where we don’t hear good news one can’t help but wonder if the Senators legend is inching closer and closer to calling it quits. As much as I am a huge Sens fan, and Alfredsson’s departure hurt me dearly, I’ll always respect him as a player and a person and I’d want him to be able to go out on his own terms.

Last Games

Although they’ve won five games this season, the last five games played certainly leaves behind a record that leaves most fans wanting more. Going 1-2-2 is certainly delving into mediocre territory, but fans can take some solace in the fact that three of those games were against Chicago and Boston, with the Senators eeking out a point via shootout when they hosted Chicago last Thursday.

The Wings come in with a 3-1-1 record in their last five, so they’re not doing too shabby lately. But not to fear Sens fans, Detroit’s last game was a shootout loss against the lowly Buffalo Sabres, a team that has been described as not just bad, but historically bad. Sure they’re allowed a pass on some games, but it does bode well for Ottawa that Detroit couldn’t muster enough to get past one of the league’s worst teams.

Players to Watch

Mika Zibanejad — He’s been my player to watch the last three previews I’ve done, but only half the reason that is is because I’m terribly lazy. The other half is because up until Thursday’s shootout loss to Chicago, Zibanejad had zero goals and zero assists – certainly not stellar numbers for a supposed second line centre. And although he hasn’t exactly lit things up in the past two games, he does have two goals in two games since forcing OT and then the shootout last week, and often after a prolonged drought can come a nice streak. Here’s hoping Zibby can pull more points out of the well and can show he’s ready to be the Sens’ second line man.

Henrik Zetterberg — Always a dangerous man, the Red Wings’ captain is also their leading scorer. With 11 assist through 10 games so far, the Sens are always going to have to be mindful of where Zetterberg is on the ice as he’s prone to take advantage of any time and space he’s given.

3 Story-lines for the Game

A Dangerous Game — Ottawa’s been playing Russian Roulette with the puck lately. Other than only the dismal Sabres I mentioned earlier, Ottawa allows the most shots against per game. Fans haven’t been saying too too much because somehow the Sens have a winning record and our ‘tenders have been stellar, but simply put this can’t go on much longer. I have all the confidence in the world in Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner, but each goalies’ last games were more indicative of what’s to come if we don’t tighten things up.

10 Game Tryout — Rookie Curtis Lazar is nearing his tenth game played, and although nothing concrete has been said yet, all things point to the youngster sticking around as he has not once looked out of place. The only thing working against Lazar is Ottawa’s roster numbers. Once Methot gets back to full health that means that with the current group we have, two forwards and two defenceman will sit on any given night. Hopefully he can keep finding ways to make it easy for coach Maclean to keep in the lineup and not on the bench.

Shopping and Showing — As previously stated Ottawa currently has a glut of players on its roster and without a doubt it only makes sense that some moves are imminent. The Sens can’t afford to bench four players a night, especially when the chances are high that those players could be ones with bigger contracts too. This game, and every one up until a trade occurs, is going to be a showcase for each and every player to show they belong and they can contribute, and those that are consistently riding the pine are bound to be shipped (hopefully) sooner rather than later.