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It’s almost impossible to envision a Senators win these days. Even with some good performances recently, they just haven’t been able to get the job done in the end. Combine those good efforts and bad luck with the usual terrible showings, and you get the current eight game losing streak that they are on. Perhaps the ninth time is the charm?
Ottawa will be in Anaheim tonight to face off against the Ducks at 10:00 EST. It’s only 7:00 for me out here in Vancouver, but I wouldn’t blame anybody in Ottawa for not staying up for this matchup...Nobody wants to see an embarrassing loss if it comes to that. There hasn’t been an update on the lines since yesterday just yet, but we do know that Matt Duchene won’t be on the west coast road trip due to the impending birth of his first born child. His wife Ashley is expected to give birth at any time, and I wish their family all the best during a truly magical time in their lives.
As for the rest of the lineup, here is what it looked like yesterday at practice:
There aren’t too many surprises here, except I like the fact that Rudolfs Balcers is in the top-six. Who knows if he will actually get top-six minutes, but this is a good start. The Tkachuk-White-Stone line has been great the entire time they have been together, so there’s no reason why they should be split up. On defense, it’s obviously going to look horrible without Thomas Chabot. Still though, Christian Wolanin needs to be playing, as he’s already looked better than multiple players “above” him in the depth chart. And despite their constant struggles, it baffles me that Max Lajoie and Cody Ceci continue to get paired together.
It's also hilarious that the Twitter account Capital Gains predicted Boucher's rationale for having Ben Harpur in the lineup:
We know that Anders Nilsson will be starting tonight, although it is unclear if John Gibson will be the Ducks starter or not. Coming into tonight, Matt Duchene, Mark Stone, and Ryan Dzingel have scored 14 out of the past 19 goals scored by the Senators...And all of them could theoretically be gone by next season. We’ll see if that trend continues tonight, although obviously Duchene will not be in the mix. With Chabot not playing either, there aren’t that many other scoring options available.
As for how the Ducks will be lining up, this is what is given via Daily Faceoff:
They certainly aren’t the Ducks of the past, as they look extremely thin in all areas. Gibson and his .923 SV% have been keeping them afloat for most of the season, although they have gone on their own
eight game losing streak, just barely falling out of a playoff spot. Despite being close to a playoff spot, they have been a mirage this season due to their -23 goal differential and 26th ranked corsi at 47.09%. They have also given up the third most shot attempts per 60, giving Gibson a ton of work.
What does that mean for tonight then? Expect there to be lots of action, because both of these teams give up way too many shots and chances every game. The score might not be high, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see each team get 35+ shots on goal. So that might be one reason to stay up late if you’re in the east.
Something has to give for one of these teams, and I hope that it is the Senators, because I can’t bear to think about how long this losing streak will last.