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Morning Skate: Wings vs Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

Time: 7:00 Eastern
Place: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit MI
TV: BSDET, TVAS, SN1
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket
Senators Blog: Silver Seven

The Wings are back in action after having their marvelous winning streak mercilessly broken by the mean terrible Buffalo Sabres. The last time these teams met was two Saturdays ago on the 15th. Ottawa handed Detroit their fifth straight loss with a 6-3 victory thanks to a third period collapse by the Wings.

The Wings currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division but just two points ahead of these 7th place Sens. Things are pretty similar for these teams in terms of preseason expectations and the hope of an upward trajectory on the standings somewhat delayed by circumstance.

The Senators are led in goals by Claude Giroux and points by Brady Tkachuk. One of these players is likeable. Tim Stützle has 30 points in 31 games. I think he’s fine. There’s a different German I like more than him though.

Austin Watson was fined for picking Dylan Larkin’s head in that game. He’s a dirtbag.

The Wings are pretty terrible at end-of-month games, so maybe this being an end-of-year game will somehow magically cancel that. It’s not reasonable but who cares?

In terms of the underlying things that contribute to a team’s place in the standings, Ottawa is above 50% in Natural Stat Trick’s expected goals for model and their PDO is fourth-worst in the league in terms of how their team shooting and save percentage at 5-on-5 matches up to expectations. I don’t think they’re a bad shooting team. I don’t have a lot of faith in their goaltending, but this team drives play.