Saturday, October 08, 2011

GDP #2: Battle Of Ontario @ Toronto

Proud Leaf fan displaying his pride from 1967
The Senators are back at it tonight, hoping for a better result against a much more manageable opponent in the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Sens will be looking to build on a solid 3rd period last night in Detroit, a period that saw them score 3 goals and put a scare into one of the best teams in the league.

Tonight is a match up of 2 non playoff teams, but whenever the Battle of Ontario happens, you can throw the records out the window. If anything, these 2 teams will always play for Provincial pride, but so early into the season, there's a big 2 points on the line. The Sens want to get on the board this year, while the Leafs want to start 2-0.

The lone lineup change for the Sens will be Bobby Butler is a healthy scratch in favor of Zenon Konopka, who gets his first action as a Sen tonight. With the absence of Matt Carkner at the moment, one would imagine that he's in there for his toughness to counter Colton Orr, and to win us some faceoffs. That means the Sens will have 5 centres dressed for tonight. David Rundblad will sit again. Sens head coach Paul MacLean on Rundblad: "we're going to make sure that he's working on his defensive game and he's comfortable before we put him in."

Here's a look at the Sens morning skate at the ACC. Peter Regin continues to wear a non contact jersey, which means he is clearly more hurt than we first thought. I hope he comes back soon, as I feel he has a lot to prove and a hungry, talented player in the lineup is never a bad thing, especially in a contract year.

No local flavor tonight. Hardly surprising given these 2 organizations don't like each other.

The lines should be basically the same, minus Bobby Butler. Because of the 5 centres playing, one line will have 2 playing on it. Most likely the 4th line with Konopka dressing tonight. Craig Anderson starts in net again.

Prediction: It's always tough to call the B.O.T. games because the previous games don't matter. Both teams will always give their all for these 6 games per year. The Leafs are coming off a shutout win, and the Sens played last night and are coming off a loss, a fairly bad one, but for some reason I like the Senators chances. If the top line of Michalek-Spezza-Filatov can find that chemistry again, then we have a good chance and let's face it, the Leafs are more of the Sens speed than Detroit. Sens take it and get their first win of the year 3-2.

Record so far: 1-0 with zero correct predictions

Thoughts? Do the Sens bounce back?

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