After 7 games Ottawa is the #1 ranked team 5 on 5, 4th on the PK and 6th on the PP. It'll be interesting to see where those numbers are 7 games from now without Spezza. I suspect we'll be able to stay top 10 in both special teams categories. That coupled with goaltending from Andy and we should still be able to play .500 hockey and hold down a playoff spot. Its optimistic but possible.
Obviously we'll miss his production, but we'll miss his ability to take draws almost as much. Turris and O'Brien have to up their game in that regard. Smith has been dominant in the dot thus far but the stay in the top 1/3 of the league in PK and PP we'll need win that territorial war.
They're not exactly galloping out of the gate but this should be a better test than most of the other teams we've faced thus far. They've got some solid weapons and probably outmatch us at all positions. Ward is also bound to have a big game one of these days. Excited to see it shakedown.
Ian Mendes @ian_mendes
Dan Ellis will start in goal for the Hurricanes tonight vs Ottawa.
Not sure if good or bad news. On one hand, we can hopefully ruin Ellis' stats as he's the only one even close to Anderson in any category (only 2 games) but he's obviously playing well. The other side of the coin is that Ward has something like a .861 sv% right now. He must be due for a good game but that's probably a guy you want to play against right now. (I also selfishly wanted Ward to play since I have him on my fantasy team. Wanted to see him play before I make the decision to drop him for Luongo)
Carolina's size up front will be a huge test for our rookie D, I don't think they've seen anything like the 1-2 of the Staal boys who are desperate for a win, Carolina is better then their record and if they get going against our D, it could be a long night.