Saturday, September 20, 2008


This is exciting. Sure, it's only the pre-season, and you won't see all of the players you wanted to, but it's NHL hockey, it's on the radio (TEAM 1200), it's on TV (Rogers 22), and it's on.

The Sens are playing the New York Rangers tonight, but don't expect Wade Redden to be in the lineup. I guess it's just too soon for him. Whatever.

According to the Ottawa Sun, these will be the Sens' line combinations for the game:

Dany Heatley-Jason Spezza-Jesse Winchester
Antoine Vermette-Nick Foligno-Daniel Alfredsson
Jarkko Ruutu-Mike Fisher-Chris Neil
Josh Hennessy-Jim O'Brien-Danny Bois

Chris Phillips-Christoph Schubert
Jason Smith-Filip Kuba
Alexandre Picard-Brian Lee

Martin Gerber (first two periods)
Brian Elliott (third period)

Those three forward lines look awesome. I'm excited to see what Jesse Winchester can do in a real game alongside Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley. I'm also looking forward to seeing Nick Foligno at centre, and whether or not he stays there or switches with Antoine Vermette part way through. And to see how many Rangers want to play against that extremely punishing and aggravating third line of Jarkko Ruutu, Chris Neil, and Mike Fisher. The fourth line is probably just to see what those three can do. I doubt they'll be making the full-time roster, but Josh Hennessy, Danny Bois, and Jim O'Brien might be high on the Sens' call-up list if injury troubles arise.

On defence, I'm sure Chris Phillips will be playing with Anton Volchenkov, but head coach Craig Hartsburg may just want to see how Christoph Schubert responds. That or he wants to yell less, so he can just say, "Chris, get on!" and that pairing will. Jason Smith is expected to play with Filip Kuba, so we'll see what kind of chemistry they'll have. And Brian Lee and Alexandre Picard might be battling for that sixth defence spot, so it makes sense to see them in the same situations.

Martin Gerber has been given the 'starting goaltender' mantle, so it's now his to lose. We'll see how he responds tonight and in coming games.

I can't believe I'm this excited for an exhibition game.

EDIT: The Sens also trimmed the roster down sixteen players, fifteen of whom were assigned to the Binghamton tryout. Moving down are goalies Kevin Desfossés and Mitch O’Keefe, defencemen Mitch Ganzak, Tomas Kudelka, Guillaume Lépine, Brandon Roach, Derek Smith, Chris St. Croix, Geoff Waugh, and Ben Wright, and forwards Kaspars Daugavins, Denis Hamel, Chaz Johnson, Mick Lawrence, Shawn Weller, and Jeremy Yablonski. Only Wright wasn't assigned to Bingo, instead electing to return to his junior team.

Look for Lawrence to make a pretty good impression, as Bingo GM Tim Murray has already been impressed. And hopefully Chris St. Croix will be a big-time goal scorer so they can play 'Jump, jump' by Kris Kross every time he puts one in (unless they've reserved that for Foligno).
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