Toronto at Ottawa – 7:00 p.m. ET – The Arena at TD Place
Watch on Linear TV: Sportsnet
Streaming: Sportsnet+, YouTube
Ottawa's last game was on January 17, a loss at home to Minnesota 3-2 in overtime.
Toronto's last game was on January 20, a shootout win on the road 4-3 against Montréal.
Ottawa has two overtime losses and one regulation win to get their five points so far in three games played. They have a +2 goal differential overall, and the same number on special teams. They have allowed one shorthanded and one power play goal against, denting their league-leading power play success rate.
Toronto has played Ottawa once, a pretty comprehensive thumping of a win by Ottawa 5-1 on nearly even shots on goal. Safe to say that game was the worst game Toronto has played, and Ottawa showed off their goals by committee approach.
Toronto is cursed, and no one is more cursed than the captain. Blayre Turnbull has zero goals on 22 shots on goal. Turnbull doesn't even have an assist because frequent early winger Sarah Nurse is rocking a 4.8 Shooting %.
Toronto routinely outshoots their opponents and loses. Their goal differential is -9, and it's not just the scoring that isn't happening, the saving is also not taking place. Like most runs of poor Save % (a team stat) there is a combination of defensive lapses and goaltending miscues at fault.
Toronto and Ottawa are the two teams playing all (or nearly all) of their games with just one goalie. Erica Howe got two periods for Toronto in that last Ottawa game. Howe sits last, Kristen Campbell second last in Save % for the league.
Troy Ryan has been mixing up the lines a little, playing Nurse at centre and looking for a system that will turn all those shots into goals. His big problem is the defending, but actual scoring can cover over a lot of mistakes.
The goals will come – not a reassurance that ever satisfies, even though it's true.
Toronto played hard their last two games, and they need to atone tonight for making us watch them fail hard at their first Battle of Ontario.
As of 11 am this morning, limited seats in the upper bowl were still available, and a tiny smattering in the lower sections for this game. Prices of $26 and $36 for the seats left.
We'll post the lines when they're announced closer to gametime.