By taking a quick look at the training transported to the Bell Center by the visit from Ottawa, we could understand that some Senators were not going to come here to learn and offer scientific hockey like the Soviets in 1972.
So, with Mark Kastelic and Zack MacEwen trying to get noticed in every way possible, it was obvious that there was going to be some meanness like in the good old days.
Besides, that’s exactly what we had, and not just once: a knee out here, a blow to the back there. Fortunately, there was nothing untoward, neither on one side nor the other, and the evening ended in relative calm, with a 4-3 victory for the Canadian, in this second match of the preparatory schedule.
Could Martin St. Louis have added a few pounds of muscle to his roster, knowing these Senators were going to come here with bad intentions? He thought about it a little.
“We have a schedule and we try to prepare, to give chances to players,” the coach began by saying. It’s not like we receive the details of their training two days in advance. The rest of us are already preparing, but when I saw their training, it’s certain that if I had had it much earlier, it would have been different. »
“But even at that, we want to play hockey. There were a lot of punishments and everything, but we stayed as a group, we stayed together, and it was okay. »
At one point, Kaiden Guhle, who wasn’t supposed to play but had taken Mike Matheson’s place, found himself lying on the ice, the victim of one of those foul calls that can happen when too many players try. to make a name for yourself at the same time. He finally got up.
No injuries, it’s already a victory within a victory, and what’s more, the Canadian was surprised to see some strong returns from players who had been absent for a long time for health reasons.
So, MM. Juraj Slafkovsky, Sean Monahan and Cole Caufield all scored a goal, a first in a long time for them.
Slafkovsky, among others, showed a very broad smile in the Bell Center locker room.
“I know I need to play physical and be around the net more often,” admitted the young forward. But it’s also only my second match in nine months! I’m still finding my bearings, and I feel better than last time, I feel like it’s coming back. »
Martin St-Louis also seemed satisfied.
“I hope he continues to grow,” the coach explained of the young man. There will be ups and downs in his case, but I’m pretty sure he will continue to improve. […] There are expectations and he has to live with that, even if, sometimes, it’s unfair. But he knows how to use his attributes, he uses his speed, his strength, and he can shoot the puck. The last periods he played are a good sign. »
It’s understood that it doesn’t count right now, and it won’t count until October 11 either, but if there’s one thing we should remember from this Wednesday evening at the Bell Center, it’s that three very important players for the coming season look like they are ready to perform up to expectations. For a club from which we expect nothing, that’s at least that.
In a context where he must regain confidence, the young man did himself some good with a one-goal match and an assist.
He allowed 1 goal on 18 shots, but showed no confidence.
He was supposed to take part in the match, but did not do so as a preventative measure. Nothing serious, according to Martin St-Louis.
In the summer of 1980, all of North America was asking the same question: who shot J.R.? Forty-three years later, the Canadian replaced Dallas in the existential questions, and the intrigue of the summer was more: who will play with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki? Kirby Dach was a popular choice, even if the numbers reflect a different reality from the romantic memory many have of him. Except that Dach also had good moments at center last year. He also experienced some on Wednesday, but knowing that he mainly faced players from the American League, we must take some and leave some regarding his performance, nevertheless sparkling, marked by a certain robustness. However, it was a post-match comment he dropped in the locker room that is interesting. “I wanted to come back here and show that I can be a center, to form that 1-2 tandem with Nick,” he said. In short, he sees himself at the helm of the second trio.
Cayden Primeau has a long way to go in the CH organization chart. Martin St-Louis doesn’t exactly keep hope alive with lukewarm responses about him, and Primeau, while not bad, hasn’t exuded the confidence of a guy who sees himself in the NHL either. He gave in to a shot from Mathieu Joseph that he could have stopped, almost got surprised by a shot from Jacob Bernard-Docker which landed on the horizontal bar and looked behind him a few times after saves. Except that he still blocked 17 of Ottawa’s 18 shots. And above all, Jake Allen was hardly better, giving up twice on 12 shots.
With Brady Tkachuk in their ranks, the Senators have a key ingredient to create a good rivalry with anyone. It will be interesting to see if Ridly Greig will also be one of these ingredients. The team’s first-round pick (28th overall) in 2020, Greig doesn’t lack fire despite weighing 180 lbs. Everyone will remember his presence during which he flattened Cole Caufield against the boards, before rushing at Jake Allen, a gesture which earned him a penalty. But generally speaking, his energy level never dropped, and he perfectly embodied the type of player to make his rivals lose their minds. Greig made his NHL debut last year, playing 20 games in Ottawa. A role in the bottom two lines awaits him, especially if Shane Pinto’s contractual situation remains unresolved.