Senators Surprisingly Decent - Hockey Daily Dose - Rotoworld.com

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Ryan Dadoun

Hockey Daily Dose

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Senators Surprisingly Decent

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


The Ottawa Senators' summer can probably best be described as embarrassing and it reached new levels on Sept. 13 when Erik Karlsson was traded to San Jose in a package that many felt was less than what Karlsson should have brought.  It looked like Ottawa was on track to finish in the league’s basement this season, which would have been a particularly bad fate given that the Senators lack their 2019 first round pick as a consequence of the Matt Duchene trade.

 

And yet, six games into the season, while the Senators haven’t been good, they have at least been okay.  With a 4-1 win over Dallas on Monday, they are 3-2-1 this season.  True, it’s still very early, but they aren’t the tire fire that many anticipated going into the campaign.

 

That’s thanks in part to their rookies.  Maxime Lajoie has excelled thus far with four goals and seven points in six games while 19-year-old Brady Tkachuk has three goals and six points in four contests.  They hold the second and third slots in the rookie scoring race at this early stage, behind Vancouver’s Elias Pettersson.

 

They’ve had different heroes in different games though. When Ottawa bested Toronto 5-3, the player that stood out the most was defenseman Thomas Chabot.  In their 5-1 win against Los Angeles, Chris Wideman of all people scored two goals.

 

On Monday, Craig Anderson was vital as Ottawa was outshot by Dallas 38-23.  In general, Anderson has played a key role in holding down the fort.  Ottawa ranks second last in shots allowed so far this season with a staggering 38.3 shots against per game.  With a .925 save percentage in five starts, Anderson has managed to help manufacture some wins, but if he can’t keep this up then the Senators solid start might become a distant memory.

 

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TORONTO 4 LOS ANGELES 1

 

Garret Sparks struggled in his first start this season, allowing six goals to Chicago, but he bounced right back last night.  He turned aside 33 of 34 shots and he managed to contain the damage in the second period when the Leafs were outshot 15-8.  That strong start comes at a particularly good time because Frederik Andersen is dealing with a knee injury.  While it’s possible that Andersen will still be available for Thursday’s contest, Sparks strong performance should help alleviate Leafs fans’ nerves a little.

 

Meanwhile, Jack Campbell stopped 21 of 25 Leafs shots.  He got off to such a great start in the absence of Jonathan Quick (lower body), but Campbell has allowed eight goals over his last two starts.  Of course, containing the Maple Leafs offense at the start of this season has been a task that most teams haven’t been up to thus far, so Campbell isn’t alone there.

 

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the Kings’ lone goal.  He has two goals and four points in six games this season.

 

Auston Matthews’ season-opening goal scoring streak is over, but his point streak was extended to seven games with him registering two assists last night.  That gives him 10 goals and 16 points in seven games.

 

Kasperi Kapanen found the back of the net twice.  He’s up to four goals and eight points in seven contests.  He had just seven goals and nine points in 38 games with the Maple Leafs last season.

 

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MONTREAL 7 DETROIT 3

 

This was Tomas Plekanec’s 1,000th career game and he added to his celebration by scoring a goal at 16:56 of the first period.  It was his first goal and point of 2018-19.

 

Tomas Tatar found the back of the net and registered two assists against his former team.  The Canadiens forward is up to three goals and seven points in five games.

 

Jonathan Drouin scored a pair of goals for Montreal.  He has two markers and three points in five games.

 

Antti Niemi kicked out 25 of 28 shots.  He’s 2-0-0 with a 2.88 GAA and .893 save percentage in two starts.

 

At the other end of the ice, Jimmy Howard turned aside 15 of 20 shots before being yanked just 24:35 minutes into the game.  Jonathan Bernier stepped in and allowed another two goals on 15 shots.

 

Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for the Red Wings.  That gives him two goals and three points in six contests.

 

OTTAWA 4 DALLAS 1

 

Craig Anderson kicked out 37 of 38 Stars shots.  That the second straight start where he surrendered just one goal, giving him a 3-1-1 record, 3.02 GAA, and .925 save percentage in five games.

 

Brady Tkachuk scored the game-winning goal.  He already has three markers and six points in four games.

 

Matt Duchene assisted on two of the Senators’ four markers.  He’s up to six helpers in six games in 2018-19.

 

John Klingberg netted the Dallas Stars’ only goal.  That gives him four goals and six points in five contests.

 

Ben Bishop turned aside 20 of 23 shots last night.  He’s 2-2-0 with a 2.55 GAA and .913 save percentage in four starts.

 

NASHVILLE 4 MINNESOTA 2

 

Mikko Koivu had a goal and an assist for the Wild.  That gives him a goal and four points in five games this season.

 

Alex Stalock turned aside 24 of 27 shots last night.  It was his first start of the season, giving Devan Dubnyk a game off ahead of Tuesday’s contest Arizona.

 

Filip Forsberg accounted for the game-winning goal.  It was his fourth goal and sixth point in six games.

 

Ryan Johansen registered two assists for the Predators.  He has a goal and six points in six contests.

 

Pekka Rinne kicked out 29 of 31 shots last night.  He’s 3-1-0 with a 1.75 GAA and .943 save percentage in four starts.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
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