Tuesday, October 26, 2010

GDP #9: Sens V Winnipeg Jets

The Sens are back at it tonight, in a rare game with the Winnipeg Jets, errr I mean Phoenix Coyotes at SBP, puckdrop is 7:37pm on Sportsnet. The Sens appeared to have turned the corner with a nice 4-2 win on the road in Buffalo on Friday night, but then came home and played like an OHL team on Saturday night against Montreal, and frankly, it was an embarassing, humbling game for all involved. The Senators look to rebound tonight against a sneaky good Coyotes team.

For the Sens, Brian Elliott will be starting, though many thought Robin Lehner might get the nod. If Elliott doesn't show up, look for Lehner to start next game and to relieve him quickly. I believe Elliott is on a short leash, but with Leclaire still at least a week away, Clouston has limited options. For Phoenix, while not confirmed yet, it appears the Sens will catch a break, with Jason LaBarbera expected to start instead of All Star Ilya Bryzgalov.

In injury news, Filip Kuba skated yesterday and is getting closer to a comeback, but Jason Spezza will sit out his 3rd game in a row and his 4th out of 9 so far, which isn't good news. So much for it being a minor problem right? As much as everyone loves to hate on him, this team looks AWFUL without him centering the first line.

The Sens lines will look like this to start out at least:
  • Michalek-Fisher-Alfredsson
  • Foligno-Regin-Winchester
  • Ruutu-Kelly-Neil
  • Shannon-Smith-Kovalev

It looks like Brian Lee will be watching this one from the press box tonight, with David Hale still taking his spot in the lineup. I have to say these lines look a little wrong to me. Do we really need Winchester on the 2nd line? Tonight is also a small piece of NHL history, as Sergei Gonchar will play in his 1000th game, so hopefully he plays well and shows me why I used to wanna have a heart attack everytime he had the puck. He used to kill us, I wanna see him kill someone else now.

Prediction: The Coyotes should be tired, they're playing in the east, which is never good for a west coast team, and they played last night in Montreal, losing in OT, so they should be tired. They get a boost with Shane Doan returning tonight from suspension though, which should fire them up with their captain back in the lineup. I don't know what to make of PHX, they beat us last year in their barn and they surprised everyone making the playoffs, they have a nice little team ful of youngsters that are performing well, so we shouldn't take them for granted. Hell at this point I would count on a W against the 67's, even if PHX will play their backup. I see no reason right now that we suddenly get it back on track, Sens lose 5-2. I'm now 4-4 this season with 1 exact score predicted.

Thoughts?

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