The Ottawa Senators wrapped a two game series in Sweden today against the Colorado Avalanche. In those two games the Sens took 4 out of a possible 4 points, giving the Avalanche just one point. The Senators looked strong in both games, and so I figured I would I highlight some of the takeaways from their series. With that being said, here are 5 things the Ottawa Senators took away from the NHL Global Series.
1. Erik Karlsson Starting To Get His 2-Way Game Back
The biggest fear I have seen many Sens fans have is that “Erik Karlsson may never be the same again” after having half his ankle removed this summer. This was brought to life in the first couple games when his offensive game was automatically there, but his defensive game could use some work. Throughout the year fans have seen Karlsson make more mistakes, turnovers, and blown coverage in the defensive zone then they have ever been use to. This is the series we started to see the old Karlsson. He had 4 assists in the 2 games, and was a possession machine.
In game 1 Karlsson was started in the offensive zone 77% of the time, which is a big reason for the massive 75CF% he had. However in-game 2 he was down to 50% start in the offensive zone, but he still had a 71CF%! In game 2 he had the one slip up on the PP where the puck had a nasty bounce and sent the Avs the other way to score, but other than that he looked solid. That was the only high danger chance against he was on the ice for. He also had a few amazing passes that led to chances but no goals. Overall, the captain is starting to look more and more like himself.
2. Did the Sens Find Karlsson’s New Partner?
Equally impressive was the guy who Erik Karlsson played with this series. Who may that be? None other than fellow Swede… Fredrik Claesson! Claesson posted a 70 and 72CF% in the two games. He and Karlsson clicked like many thought they might in the summer. Both games Claesson played just under 13 minutes at 5v5 with Karlsson, no one else on the team came close to playing that much with either Karlssonor Claesson. Hopefully Boucher is like me, and likes what he saw because that is a good-looking pairing. Claesson can play defence, he is skilled in the offensive zone, and he has way more foot speed and stamina then a guy like Oduya or Phaneuf. Here’s to hoping we see the two Swedes together many more times this year!
3. Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman Are REALLY Good
Now, I think the Sens and their fans knew this before hand, but if anyone needed some more convincing this should have done it. Stone now has 18P(11G, 7A) in 15GP. He is tied for 4th in goals in the league, and had 2 goals and 1 assist in these 2 games alone. Mike Hoffman has 14P(4G 10A) in 15GP. He had a goal and 2 assists this weekend. Both guys were absolutely dominate and Stone has found lots of chemistry with Derrick Brassard.
Hoffman was all over the ice in the two games and had a 59 and 62CF%. Mark Stone had a 62 and 50CF%, along with countless classic Stone takeaways. He was credited with 3 in the 2 games, but had countless more where he got in a passing lane and disrupted the pass. Both of these guys have been massive for the Sens this year, and if they keep this up will be a big reason for Ottawa’s success.
4. Duchene Looks Good In a Sens Jersey
Matt Duchene played his first 2 games in a Sens jersey this weekend, and while he didn’t get a point he came damn close a few times. He almost had an assist on Hoffman’s goal but it was called unassisted because the Avs player swatted the puck right to him. In game 1, Duchene looked a little nervous. This is very understandable, first game with a new team and it is against your old team. Game 2 however he looked dangerous, he had a 67CF% and was all around the net.
Duchene had a breakaway he just couldn’t bury, and a few other chances he just whiffed on. One of the biggest areas of upgrade that Matt Duchene brings to the Senators is his penalties drawn/taken ratio. Matt Duchene draws way more penalties than Kyle Turris did, and he also takes less as well. He drew 2 this weekend by using his speed to create space and force the Avs to have to take a penalty to slow him down. This may be a massive asset for the Sens as *usually* the more PP time the better.
5. Sweden Hates The Sens Goalies
Rough weekend for the goalies. Game 1 Anderson let in 3 goals off of 19 shots, and game 2 Condon let in 3 goals of off 10 shots before being pulled. Anderson came in and closed out the game making 8 saves for the win. Overall that is 6 goals on 37 shots, not ideal for the Senators net minders at all. The weirdest part is, I am not sure any of these goals are actually the goalies fault. In game 1 there was a PP blast that Andy had no chance on. Goal 2 then took a nasty deflection off an Avs player again giving Andy no chance. The 3rd goal was one of the worst defensive plays I have seen all year.
— EK65 (@nhlsensandstuff) November 10, 2017
Please tell me what Anderson was supposed to do there? As for today, it was the same type of thing for Condon. A breakaway snipe, a PP blast, and a terrible deflection off of a teammates shoulder into the net. I’m not sure I even agree with pulling him but hey, it got the job done I guess and that is what matters. Safe to say both of the Sens goalies will probably be wanting to put these games behind them and look forward though.
Those are the Sens takeaways from the Sweden trip! They now have roughly 5 days off to readjust to the time change before they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. Did you agree with the takeaways? What takeaways of your own did you have? Let me know either here or on Twitter!