A home opener and homecoming all in one: pre-game notes

There was quite the Ottawa flavour on the bluelines Monday. Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson’s new defence partner, was doing his best Monday morning to ignore the flood of emails and texts wishing him well in his home debut and he guessed Scotiabank Place was filled with “a couple of hundred people I actually know.”

Milan Michalek of the Ottawa Senators is tripped by Mike Weaver of the Florida Panthers during second period of NHL action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, January 21, 2013. Photo by Jean Levac/OTTAWA CITIZEN

There was quite the Ottawa flavour on the bluelines Monday. Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson’s new defence partner, was doing his best Monday morning to ignore the flood of emails and texts wishing him well in his home debut and he guessed Scotiabank Place was filled with “a couple of hundred people I actually know.”

Meanwhile, Filip Kuba, Karlsson’s old partner, was back in his old stomping grounds for the first time since signing as a free agent with Florida and is now paired with Brian Campbell, the former Ottawa 67′s star.

Methot is an open book in comparison to the soft-spoken Kuba, but Karlsson says “even though he didn’t talk much, I picked up a lot from him.” Kuba also attended Karlsson’s wedding in the summer.”

In keeping with the Ottawa defence theme, Panthers coach Kevin Dineen says Erik Gudbranson could be back in the Florida lineup “hopefully early in the next month”. Gudbranson is recovering from a shoulder injury and attended Panthers camp, but is technically listed as “suspended” and not being paid until he’s healthy to return. That’s because his injury resulted from a wakeboarding accident in September and not from hockey-related training. “He’s anxious and excited (to return), but has a little ways to go,” said Dineen.

LUNDIN MAKING STRIDES: Senators coach Paul MacLean says injured defenceman Mike Lundin is expected to have the pins removed from his injured hand this week. The next step is for Lundin to feel comfortable holding a stick…MacLean wasn’t saying whether the team would bring three goaltenders for games in Florida and Tampa Thursday and Friday. How long will they stick with the three-pack? “As long as we have to,” said MacLean. As was the case Saturday, Robin Lehner backed up Craig Anderson on Monday, with Ben Bishop sitting out as a healthy scratch….Lehner and Bishop have spent all season as part of a three-goalie system. Nathan Lawson was with them in Binghamton.

 

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