Jason Spezza rode a late surge in votes past the injured Sidney Crosby and into the top three forwards. Spezza has enjoyed a strong start to the 2011/2012 season, racking up 14 goals and 26 assists for a point a game pace through the first 40 games. Heading into tonight, Jason Spezza is ranked 11th in league scoring.
A late surge by Milan Michalek bumped Leafs forward Phil Kessel out of the starting line up in a twist that will certainly infuriate Leafs fans.
On defence, Erik Karlsson has enjoyed a breakout season that has vaulted him into a group with league’s best young defenceman. Karlsson leads all defenceman in scoring with 37 points, a total that has him inside the top 20 in league scoring. Not bad for a 21 year old.
The most exciting name on the list of starters has to be Daniel Alfredsson. At 39 years of age, the NHL’s longest serving captain is half way through his 16th season in the NHL, all of which have been played in an Ottawa Senators uniform. In a year where Alfie himself has suggested could be his last, the Captain continues to contribute on a regular basis, including back to back overtime winners on home ice.
With the game being played in Ottawa at the end of the month, what an awesome tribute it will be to have Daniel Alfredsson, the face of the franchise and a pillar in the community in that starting line up.
Kudos to everyone that took the time to vote.
GO SENS GO!
The Ottawa Senators play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight in an important home game for the Sens. After tonight the club faces a daunting stretch of games away from SBP which makes two points tonight that much more important.
While one veteran defenceman returns to the line up, another joins the list of walking wounded. Sergei Gonchar will be back in the Sens line up after missing a couple games after taking a puck to the head in warm up. Meanwhile, Chris Phillips will be sidelined with what the club is calling a “mild concussion” but he could play this weekend.
Here is how the Sens are expected to line up.
Craig Anderson gets the start in goal. A win tonight and the Senators could pass the idle Pittsburgh Penguins for 5th place in the Eastern Conference. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM with all the action available on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.