Canada

Senators get chance to evaluate by playing two games in Toronto

Article content

TORONTO — The Ottawa Senators kick off preseason with a rare doubleheader on Saturday.

advertising 2

Article content

After the second day of training camp at the Canadian Tire Center on Friday, the 45 players packed up and boarded the club’s short flight to Big Smoke in the afternoon.

Article content

The battle for training camp jobs begins in earnest on Saturday as the Senators face the Toronto Maple Leafs in the puck drop at Scotiabank Arena at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Article content

No, this isn’t about success or failure, but these two games will determine where everyone fits in when GM Pierre Dorion, coach DJ Smith and the rest of the hockey operations staff make the final decision. It is useful for

The good news is that it gives young players a chance to face off against the likes of Ouston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Michael Nylander. You will have a better understanding of where you are standing.

advertising 3

Article content

“I want to see what I can do against other NHL players,” Smith said Friday. “Structure will help a lot of players, especially those who have been in the league longer. They will be able to rely on structure and intelligence.

“You have to be able to play within the NHL’s game. That’s what some of these exhibition games show us.”

Pre-season goals are different for each player.

Returning players are trying to use them as a tune-up to make sure the puck is ready when it actually drops.

Players who have been told to go to the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville want to indicate which organization they should be called first in case of injury.

A young player who has never had the chance to play in the NHL wants to show that he belongs at this level. So you’ll see a lot of different combinations over the next three weeks.

Advertising 4

Article content

With Alex Devlincat, Claude Giroud and Tim Stutzl skating together up front for the first time, you’ll get your first chance to see top prospect Jake Sanderson take on an NHL player. All this makes these games interesting.

The club has only held two scrimmages, so if the Senators feel they’re heading into the preseason pretty early, they’re right.

“This is the first time I’ve experienced an exhibition game in a few days,” said Smith. “We usually have another intra-team game (Saturday).

“This is an NHL game and we have to do everything we can to stay competitive, but at the same time we are also evaluating players. It will be like an in-game.”

Advertising 5

Article content

The good news is that this will give senators the chance to see everyone they want to see at least once.

Goaltender Cam Talbot, acquired from the Minnesota Wild in the offseason, starts Game 1.

Veteran Anton Forsberg, who carried the ball for this team last season, will start the nightcap. Again, Belleville’s Mads Sogaard would make sense if he played in the second half as well.

Goaltending coach Zach Biak laid out a plan for how the Senators would use Netminder during the preseason. Talbot, 35, said he just wants enough playing time to make sure he’s ready.

“Usually 2.5 to 3.5 games is a good idea. You want to overbag yourself in the preseason. It’s a long season,” he said. “You want to have a half game first, then some full games, then mix in his third game.”

Advertising 6

Article content

As well-documented, the Senators made a number of changes during the offseason, so they wanted to start building chemistry before the puck actually dropped against the Buffalo Sabers on October 13. I’m here.

This is just the first step in making sure everyone is on the same page. The club will send a group of mostly young players to Winnipeg due to the long travels required on match days.

“This starts to shift into a different gear and turn into some special team work when we host Fanfest on Sunday,” Smith said. It will really[change]later. It clears up some things. Let’s see a little more.”

With 59 players in the camp, Senators will start to dwindle to a more viable number in the near future. Junior forwards Darrin Wakeley, Reed Valade and defenseman Chandler Romeo were sent back to the OHL squad on Friday.

advertising 7

Article content

Anyone who wants to make an impression should do so right away.

“When you play against a deep team like Toronto, whatever lineup you get, you’re going to be playing a good lineup,” Smith said. “It’s better for us because we can see if the players can do it against the better players in the league.

“And if they can do it under real referees, real rules, and all that. Usually it always resolves automatically.”

bgarrioch@posmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

    advertising 1

comment

Postmedia is committed to maintaining an active yet respectful forum for discussion and encourages all readers to share their opinions on our articles. It may take up to an hour to moderate your comments before they appear on the site. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. You have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email when you receive a reply to a comment, when a comment thread you are following is updated, or when someone is following your comment. For more information and details on how to adjust your email preferences, please see our Community Guidelines.



Senators get chance to evaluate by playing two games in Toronto

Source link Senators get chance to evaluate by playing two games in Toronto

Related Articles

Back to top button