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Second Uber video?
You thought this Uber video controversy was going to die after just a day or two? Unlikely. According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, there might be another video that the Senators clearly do not want released:
I have no idea what is being discussed in this video (if it even exists), but the last thing the Senators need is for that one to be released as well. There’s a chance that something even worse is being said, and I hope that it isn’t something non-hockey related that would make the players look even more foolish.
Who knows if this video will ever see the light of day, and I pray that it does not.
After missing nine games with a torn ligament in his leg, Brady Tkachuk returns to the lineup tonight and should give the team a huge boost.
He had been one of the Senators best players in those four games, and I’m excited to see him playing again. At the time of writing this, it’s unclear who he will be playing with, but if he stays with Mark Stone, that will give him a great opportunity to get back on the scoresheet immediately.
It’s strange saying this considering how badly I wanted Filip Zadina instead of Tkachuk back in June, but I can’t wait to see him healthy for the rest of the season. He can legitimately help this team a lot, especially if he is going to continue to get top-six minutes. My opinion on Zadina hasn’t changed and I still think he is going to be great, although Tkachuk has definitely grown on me too.
Thomas Chabot for Norris?
This might sound insane just 15 games into the season, but Thomas Chabot has a legitimate case for the Norris Trophy as he leads defensemen in scoring with 20 points. Three defensemen (Morgan Rielly, Brent Burns, and John Carlson) are tied for second with 18 points, and he’s in incredibly impressive company. Furthermore, according to Evolving Wild’s Goals Above Replacement and Wins Above Replacement model, Chabot ranks incredibly high in the league:
I know that GAR and WAR are highly contested stats, especially in hockey, but it’s hard to ignore Chabot’s start even if you don’t like to attribute much to those stats. I’m not going to bet that he wins the Norris or is even a finalist, but if the season ended today, he’d have a very good shot at it. Even if he keeps up 80% of this pace, he should have a top-10 finish amongst defensemen and that is sorely needed after losing Erik Karlsson.
Josh Norris off to a blistering start
The main prospect that people focused on in the Erik Karlsson trade was 2017 first-rounder Josh Norris. He had just 23 points in 37 games at the University of Michigan last season, but so far through seven games he already has 12 points. No other teammate has more than eight, so he’s clearly leading the way, which is a stark contrast to last season where he was seventh on the team in scoring.
Rudolfs Balcers has been fantastic so far in Belleville, and it’s great to see that another prospect from the Karlsson trade is thriving as well. There are questions about his ultimate ceiling in the NHL, but I’m feeling better about his potential future with the Senators.
Colin White looking more confident
The 2017-18 season for Colin White was quite underwhelming both at the NHL and AHL level. Coming into this season, a lot of people were down on him as a prospect, and it was evident that he was going to have to prove that he belonged all season long. Through the first 15 games, he is looking much more comfortable in the offensive zone and he has nine points to show for that.
His possession numbers leave something to be desired, but a large reason for that might be due to him playing a decent portion of his ice-time with bottom-six players. He has also gotten 2:16 of powerplay ice-time per game, which is seventh amongst forwards. That isn’t a high average, but it’s more than last year when he got just 39 seconds per game. He has now recorded three powerplay goals and hopefully he can thrive in a spot on one of the two powerplay units.
I’m still lukewarm about the possibility of him becoming a second line centre, but there’s a decent chance that he’s in the NHL for good.