Thursday, January 13, 2011

GDP #44: Sens @ Long Island

The Sens are in the hockey mecca that is Long Island tonight, playing the lowly Islanders, one of the three teams they're actually above in the standings. As far as this season goes, this is one of the few we actually have a chance to win, but with our luck, the Isles are actually on a bit of a roll at the moment, going 6-3-1 in their last 10. Seems about right.

The big news tonight of course, is that Sens super goalie prospect Robin Lehner makes his first career start. I am quite curious to see what the young Swede has in store for us in the NHL. Will he be a star or a bust? No matter what happens tonight, it will be too early to tell, but it will give us a peak at what the future might hold for us. Let's hope he does well.

The other news is that Corey Locke will make his Senators debut tonight, playing on the 2nd line with Nick Foligno and Ryan Shannon. Yep, that's how far we've sunk. Our 2nd line is 71-84-26, all 3 of which are barely NHLers. Welcome to the Bryan Murray years everyone. I will be curious to see if Mr Locke can contribute at the NHL level, or will his lack of speed and size prevent him from doing so like so many have suggested. Something to keep an eye on at least.

The other lineup change tonight is that Chris Campoli will be a healthy scratch, which is a bit odd considering he used to play there. Perhaps it was related to the fight he and Neil had during practice yesterday. Either way, Campoli is out and Brian Lee is back in, which is a good move in my books. I think Lee has played well enough to stay in the lineup and I'd like to see him play the rest of the year, so he finally gets a legitimate shot at proving if he belongs in the league or not. I think he does as a 5/6 defenceman, especially on this team.

Here are the projected lines for tonight:
  • Michalek-Fisher-Alfredsson
  • Foligno-Locke-Shannon
  • Ruutu-Kelly-Neil
  • Smith-Regin-Winchester

Prediction: Can the Sens get any lower than they already are? The performance in Boston was one of the worst in franchise history, and many are surprised that CCC and BM are still employed. The question is can they bounce back, and at this time I'm not sure at all. The Islanders would seemingly be an easy target, but sadly even they are playing much better than we are at this time. A lot will also hinge on the play of rookie Robin Lehner, who goes into the game with a perfect save %. This is a tough one to call, but I think the Sens get it together and gut out a road win. Sens take it 3-2.


No comments: