An Ottawa Senators game, It finally happened!
After 310 days of no games for the Sens, D.J. Smith’s roster took the ice against the Toronto Maple Leafs, arguably the most skilled team in the North Division this year. Birthday boy Tim Stützle also made his NHL debut at just 19-years-old.
If you haven’t heard already, 613 Sports has given me the opportunity to write Ottawa Senators report cards after each game this season, highlighting the most and least impressive player throughout the game.
Without further a due, let’s get started on this first report card of the 2020-21 Ottawa Senators season.
Most impressive player of the game: Drake Batherson 0G, 2A, 17:31 TOI
If you ask me, we could’ve chosen three different players to sit next to Batherson for player of the game, but I decided to go with Drizzy tonight.
Batherson’s line was clicking all night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it resulted in him finishing the night with two helpers. It seemed like Batherson was in control throughout the entire game when he was in the offensive zone. After playing 23 games last year with the Senators NHL roster, it seems like the long off-season has served Batherson well.
Control of the puck and poise are two factors that really impressed me with Batherson tonight. He wasn’t afraid to get in the corners, and also showed a great deal of patience when he fired the shot that exploded his stick on the fifth goal of the night for the Sens. He also showed great speed and puck handling when faced upon sticks in his lane, and let’s not forget that threading of a needle pass to Thomas Chabot which showed his impressive vision when forced to make a play.
His line as a whole was really impressive, and Batherson was on his game on night one of the Senators season. Batherson closed out the game with a 57% CF, and a 78.9% xGF. It was a strong start for the 22-year-old as he was placed on the first line after an impressive training camp.
Least impressive player of the game: Artem Anismov 0G, 0A, 10:16 TOI
Artem Anismov unfortunately has to be my pick for least impressive player of the game. Anismov is a player who I think will see himself scratched quite a few times this season due to the young core of the Senators, and his play tonight didn’t help his case to stay in the line-up on a consistent basis.
He seemed a touch slow on the ice tonight, and I didn’t really see anything that jumped out at me. He wasn’t able to drive play as much as I’d hope for, and I think a younger player would suit the Sens better in Anismov’s role. Anismov finished the night with nothing on the stat sheet, and his xGF% was 0.49. His line overall was a disappointing 33.33 CF%.
It wasn’t a great start for Anismov’s second season with the Senators, but if the staff decide to keep him in the line-up for a tad longer, he’ll have time to regain his confidence and improve upon his play.
And with that, the first ever Sens report card is ready to be wrapped up.
Ottawa won tonight in their season opener, now let’s see if they can continue this level of play as they get set to see the Leafs tomorrow night once again.