In a season where their beloved Senators are sitting seventh in the Atlantic Division standings, Ottawa fans haven’t had as much to be optimistic about as they once hoped. However, they were treated to an unexpected thrill recently when their favorite son, Daniel Alfredsson, returned for one evening to participate in the team’s pre-game skate and formally announce his retirement. On the surface, you wouldn’t think Thursday’s game between the Kings and Senators would bring anywhere near the same level of excitement or buzz, especially considering they’ve only met up 14 times since 2001. There just isn’t a lot of history between the two clubs – although they have shared a few players; namely, Bryan Smolinski, Steve Duchesne, and Joe Corvo.
Prior to the official puck drop in Canada’s capitol, we have come up with five notes that will very likely make you sound smart while watching all the action with a friend or loved one tonight… or even at a sports bar talking to strangers…
Five Things You May Not Have Known about Ottawa Senators:
1. The firing of head coach Paul MacLean, and the hiring of Dave Cameron as his replacement, makes Cameron the sixth man behind the Ottawa bench since 2007. The five previous coaches were: John Paddock, Bryan Murray, Craig Hartsburg, Corey Clouston, and MacLean. One has to wonder if it is the person buying “the groceries” and not the person trying to “make the meal” who is responsible.
2. Senators defenseman, Erik Karlsson not only leads the team offensively with 20 points, but his minus-10 rating is also the worst on the team. Karlsson has been a minus player in four of his six seasons in Ottawa, including a minus-30 in 2010-11.
3. At home, the Senators have the best power play in the league, operating at 25.5%.
4. Despite scoring the first goal 15 times this season, the Senators have won only five of those games. Their .333 winning percentage ranks last amongst all 30 NHL teams.
5. Bobby Ryan, pictured, is on pace for a career-high 41 assists this season.
What might happen on the ice, you ask? Be sure to click here to see the latest article in our Puck Probability series. John Hoven and a special guest with ties to both NHL franchises have come up with some unique odds regarding a dozen things that just might take place during the game.
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