It's a 1 p.m. start today at Canadian Tire Centre and we've got the latest details on the Sens' projected line-up, a farewell to Dylan DeMelo's moustache and more before puck drop against the San Jose Sharks.
One stache to rule them all
The Sens have had some big contributors this month and while Matt Duchene and Mark Stone each eclipsed the 20-point mark in November, Dylan DeMelo's moustache was equally impressive in its own way over the last 30 days.
"I guess I picked a good time to do the pretend reporter thing...a little modern day Anchorman," DeMelo joked about his recent role in "Sens Locker Room TV". "I also got to drop the Gina Reda line the other day on TSN so I've had a lot of fun with this thing. Hopefully the moustaches myself and some of the other guys grew can help raise awareness for cancer research and men's health."
DeMelo wore a mic during warm-up on Thursday against the Rangers and quipped that his newest facial accessory had him bearing a resemblance to the long-time TSN anchor. With the top spot on the podium claimed, I asked DeMelo to award the silver moustache medal to one of his teammates and it was an easy decision for the 25-year-old defender.
"I like Ben Harpur's a lot," he said. "It really crept up on us. As soon as he shaved the beard it was like "Boom"...there it is. He's got a little French curl to it and I don't know if he's got any French in him but it's very nice. Solid moustache."
As we flip the calendar to December and look forward to the holidays, it comes time to bid farewell to #2's cookie duster. Fans will get their first look at a clean shaven DeMelo this afternoon but we've been reassured by the man himself that like the beautiful bloom of a perennial rose, it will return to us again next year.
"It's going to be put in the vault until next November," DeMelo said. "It's a big moustache and it's got a life of it's own now. I don't want the novelty to wear off so we'll just make this a November thing."
No changes up front for the Senators versus San Jose but we'll have to wait until after warm-up to shore up today's defence corps. Max Lajoie, who has been dealing with a minor injury, is expected to take the warm-up and is listed as a game-time decision. If he's unable to play today the Sens will turn to their newest roster player in relief, Justin Falk, who was signed to a one-year, two-way contract less than 24 hours ago.
Falk has appeared in 269 NHL games split between the Wild, Rangers, Blue Jackets and Sabres and will give the Sens some added depth on defence. Sens head coach Guy Boucher noted this morning that he expects Falk to have a similar presence as Harpur as both stand over 6'5" and could be an excellent compliment to the array of young puck-moving defencemen in the organization.
The Sens have also recalled Erik Burgdoerfer from Belleville and he's expected to act as the "insurance policy" on defence should anything occur between now and puck drop.
Here's a look at the Sens' projected line-up against the Sharks:
Dzingel - Duchene - Batherson
Tkachuk - White - Stone
Boedker - Tierney - Ryan
Pyatt - Smith - Paajarvi
Chabot - DeMelo
Lajoie / Falk - Ceci
Jaros - Harpur
Fresh off his first shutout of the season on Thursday, Craig Anderson (10-9-3) gets the start in goal again for the Sens today against the Sharks. Anderson was perfect against the Rangers in his most recent outing and was aided by a solid team effort that only allowed 27 shots against (over 10 shots less than their season average in 2018-19).
"That was my emotions towards the guys for the way they played," Anderson said about his celebration after the win. "Magnus blocks a shot with 30 seconds left and he doesn't have to do that but he showed that he's willing to pay the price. We had guys all up and down the line-up paying attention to details and that makes a big difference."
Where to Watch
Puck drop is set for a little after 1 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre and the last time I check there were still a few tickets remaining which you can get right here. Can't make it to the rink? Why not hit up the Kelsey's in Kanata where they'll be serving up 23oz Kicked Up Molson Canadian Draft for just $8.18 + tax during the game.