Ottawa looks to make it two-in-a-row against the Maple Leafs tonight after kicking off their pre-season with a 3-1 win over the Buds in St. John's last night. Get set for our 7:30 p.m. puck drop with the latest on the projected line-up, goalies and more...
Guenette draws in
From 7th round pick in June to skating alongside the team's top defencemen in his pre-season debut tonight, it's been quite a whirlwind for Maxence Guenette. The 18-year-old Val d'Or defender hasn't looked out of place since coming to Ottawa for Rookie Camp two weeks ago and hopes to make the most of his first experience at an NHL training camp.
"It's way different from Junior," said Guenette about attending his first pro camp. "The guys are all bigger and faster so it's been a good test for me. The other guys here have all been really good with me too which has really helped me get adjusted to this."
Video: First Look: Maxence Guenette
One of the players that Guenette has leaned on in camp so far is fellow QMJHL alum Thomas Chabot who is also expected to be his defence partner in tonight's exhibition game against Toronto. The pair have crossed paths before and Chabot is eager to get a look at the young defenceman's game first-hand tonight.
"He's a guy that I work with in the summer," said Chabot following today's morning skate. "He's a very talented player and he has great skating abilities. He can move the puck really well so getting the chance to play with him tonight would be pretty exciting."
Lines and Pairings
Lots of different forward and defence combos today with a different group being deployed compared to last night's game and as competition heats up, these live game environments will become key for player evaluation as the pre-season rolls on according to the coach.
"These exhibition games will sort that out for sure," said Sens head coach D.J. Smith. "By the end, you're playing against a real NHL team and that's a big difference compared to training camp scrimmages."
Up front, most of the forward lines have stay consistent since the start of training camp including the top trio of Brady Tkachuk, Colin White and Connor Brown who will get their first opportunity to play together this pre-season.
"Hopefully this is the first of many," said Tkachuk about his linemates. "We just want to keep building off what we've had in the practices and scrimmages. We're still getting used to each other and it's another step tonight."
Here's a look at the Sens' projected line-up could look like this evening against the Maple Leafs…
Tkachuk - White - C. Brown
Ennis - Anisimov - Ryan
Paul - L. Brown - Veronneau
Carcone - Szwarz - Sabourin
Chabot - Guenette
Murray - Hainsey
Borowiecki - Jaros
Craig Anderson gets the start in goal for the Senators and, much like last night's starter Anders Nilsson, is only expected to play the first two frames with Filip Gustavsson on deck to close out the final 20 minutes.
"We just want to get them enough work where they can build themselves up to play a whole game," said Smith about the tandem of Anderson and Nilsson. "Andy will get two and we'll get Gus in for the third."
Where to Watch
It's a 7:30 p.m. start tonight at Canadian Tire Centre and there are still tickets available if you want to come watch this one live. You can also catch all the action live on TSN5 or on the airways with Gord and Dean on TSN 1200.