It is finally almost here, Sens Army! RISE UP! RISE, FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE SENS ARMY! Hahahahaha... memories... I just watched that video again, so embarassing.
Anyway, ahem, the season is almost here, Sens fans. Tomorrow, Saturday, October 4, at 2:30 p.m. EST, the Senators face-off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first-ever NHL game in Sweden. Both teams will certainly be motivated, and both teams are fresh off 4-1 wins over European club teams--the Senators defeating the Frolunda Indians, and the Penguins took care of the Helsinki Jokerit. The game is on CBC on television and on TEAM 1200 on the radio. And it should be good.
Here to debrief you on the Penguins pre-season, so you know what to expect for the game, is good friend of Sens Army Blog (despite his allegiances) Frank D of Pensburgh:
"No matter how meaningless the preseason may be, it's still nice when your team goes 4-0-1 and shows no signs of sputtering in the aftermath of roster shakeups from the offseason. But the one thing that definitely puts a hinder on things is when your power-play's #1 D-man goes down with an injury. That's exactly what happened to Sergei Gonchar in Game One against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa's David Koci sent Gonchar into the boards head first in what posed as a debatable hit. Was it late? Was it dirty? It doesn't matter, you new it was bad just from watching it. At that moment Gonch skated off the ice and will remain there for at least four to six months with a dislocated shoulder. Surgery was completed just last week and when the swelling goes down he will begin rehabilitation.Thanks again to Frank D for giving us the rundown. Be sure to check out PensBurgh to see my description of the Sens' pre-season.
"So where does that leave the Pens on the blue line? Well Kris Letang, who was expected to step up in the absence of Ryan Whitney (also out till November/December), will now take on an even bigger responsibility as the potential point man on the PP. Alex Goligoski, a highly regarded defenseman in his own right, will most definitely take the official jump from the farm to the Pens to add some extra firepower. Goligoski is a younger, waiting-to-mature Gonchar in the making. He tallied a few assists and a goal in the preseason and more than likely earned his spot...regardless of injuries promoting him there regardless.
"[Sidney] Crosby, [Ruslan] Fedotenko and [Miroslav] Satan are looking like the number one unit. Say what you will about an aging Satan, but the three have chemistry and they proved it during the preseason. The puck has a lot of movement and the set ups are dead on.
"Jordan Staal is back on the wing this season and looks like he's a promising rookie all over again. It was a shaky year for him in 07-08, as Michel Therrien took him out of his natural role and placed him at center. Now that Staal is comfortable again there is a deep threat from the third line, more so than ever.
"Worth noting: Not including the Jokerit game (stats are an anomaly for that one), the Penguins tallied a power-play goal in every preseason game and the penalty kill units held opponents to a flattering 1-for-21.
"Good luck this season Sens fans. Let's open up the season with some class in Sweden."