Hey you. You’re swept up in all this Seattle Kraken hype. You want to know more about hockey but don’t know where to start. Well, we want to help make these games easy and fun for you to watch.
Throughout the season, we’ll release Landlubber’s Guides designed with the new fan in mind. This includes basic need-to-know info for you to absorb before you watch Kraken games and highlights.
Let’s dive into the Ottawa Senators.
Are they any good?
No, the Ottawa Senators are not a very good hockey team. They have the 5th-worst record in the NHL right now (yes, slightly above the Kraken, but that’s beside the point). The team did make the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017, but every season since then has been arduous. Here’s where they finished in the league standings since that last playoff trip:
We shouldn’t be throwing stones here I know, but there’s not really another way to describe the team. They have been able to accumulate draft capital and prospects during this time at least, and the youth on this team has shown flashes of high-end skill at times. They’re the third-youngest team in the NHL by average age and the least experienced team in terms of total NHL games played, so it’s safe to say they are still growing.
Who should I look out for?
Tim Stützle (#18, Left Wing) - Tim “Toaster” Stützle (nickname pending) lit it up early in his rookie season last year but cooled off a bit as the year went along. Still, he finished in the top-10 in Calder trophy voting in 2021 and this year has already surpassed his goal and assist totals from last season. None of them have been quite as cool as the first of his career though.
Brady Tkachuk (#7, Left Wing) - The 22-year old already had three full NHL seasons under his belt prior to this year and has been an incredibly consistent player for this hockey team. Tkachuk (brother of Flames forward Brady Tkachuk) was named captain of the Senators this year shortly after signing a 7-year contract with the team. Not only does he have the offensive skill to lead his team in points, he’s also got the physical abilities that would make me hesitate to go into a corner with him.
Brady Tkachuk is a big body pic.twitter.com/KmEC8mnDB0— Lalime's Martian (@LalimesMartian) March 5, 2022
Josh Norris (#9, Center) - Norris leads the team with 20 goals despite the fact that he missed all of February with a shoulder injury. He’s already notched four points in the four games since he returned. Keep an eye on him on the power play especially, where he’s snagged nearly half of his goal total on the year.
Josh Norris Pots GOAL 20! This one on the PP (Shocker)— Lalime's Martian (@LalimesMartian) March 9, 2022
2-1 Sens pic.twitter.com/VaefDJzgt1
Any Seattle ties?
Dylan Gambrell, the pride of Bonney Lake, Washington! Gambrell was born and raised just south of Seattle before moving to Colorado as a teenager. A 3rd round pick in 2016, Gambrell has bounced between the NHL and AHL for much of his career, but is currently with the big club in Ottawa. He’s only got one goal so far this year, but it was a pretty sweet one.
Odds & Ends
- Perhaps the most dangerous forward on the Senators won’t be in the lineup for this one. Drake Batherson suffered a high-ankle sprain at the end of January that’s expected to sideline him for another few weeks. The 23-year old matched his point total from last season in a smidge more than half the games this year. It’s a tough loss for a team just looking to get experience for these guys right now.
- The Kraken selected goaltender Joey Daccord in the expansion draft from the Senators. Daccord has only appeared in four games for Seattle this year, but he has posted a .917 save percentage with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. Ottawa probably wishes they had Daccord back in the system, considering their swing at Matt Murray doesn’t appear to be panning out.
- Speaking of goaltenders, Chris Driedger was selected by the Senators in the third round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. He only appeared in three games with Ottawa (with zero starts) before heading to the Florida Panthers.
- Marcus Johansson is just one point shy of reaching 400 for his career
The puck drops at Canadian Tire Centre at 4pm Pacific tonight. Catch all the action on ROOT Sports NW if you’re in the northwest or on ESPN+ for out-of-market subscribers.