After Boston was humiliated 6-1 in Tampa Bay and New Jersey was shutout 3-0 in Philadelphia, the Ottawa Senators playoff situation has got even better. Currently, the Senators sit two points behind Boston with the Bruins having a game in hand. The two clubs meet in Ottawa on 5 April in the penultimate game of the season. Before that the Senators have 10 games while the Bruins play 11 more times.
Should the Senators go 6-4-0 before the meeting with the Bruins, and the Bruins go 5-5-1, Ottawa will enter the game against Boston a point behind the Bruins having played the same number of games. That would give the Sens chance to take the division lead with a regulation win. Looking at the Senators schedule in the next 10 games we see that Ottawa plays 7 non-playoff teams (Montréal three times as well as Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Islanders and Carolina. The other three games are against Pittsburgh, New Jersey and Philadelphia.
The Bruins on the other hand play 6 of their 11 games against teams currently in a playoff position including Florida, Philadelphia, San Jose, Washington, the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh. The other five games are against Toronto, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders. Add to that the fact that the Bruins have a three-game road trip through California next week, and Ottawa's chances look even better. SportsClubStats gives them an 11% chance which though while still very low, is almost four times as high as the 3% a couple weeks ago.
In terms of catching the New Jersey Devils, the Senators are four points back with an equal number of games played. Ottawa plays New Jersey two more times, so the Senators control their own destiny in this case, as they would beat New Jersey in a tiebreaker.
Links after the jump. Just like last year, in honour of Pi Day, there will be a total of 3 sections and 14 links.
- Everyone predicts a win tonight. Peter says 4-2 Ottawa. (Senators Extra)
- Jason Spezza didn't practise today. (Sylvain St-Laurent)
- But he will be good to go tonight. (Sylvain St-Laurent)
- Ben Bishop will start. Craig Anderson will not start any of the three games this week. (Bruce Garrioch)
- The Ottawa Senators would like to keep winning down the stretch. That's good because winning is better than losing. (Senators Extra)
- Yet another college signing for the Senators as they near signing Cole Schneider from the University of Connecticut. (Senators Extra)
- Ottawa is having a very good season. Montréal is having a terrible season. Life is great isn't it? (Senators Extra)
- The team travelled by train to Montréal and they all wore fedoras and plaid suits along the way. (Ottawa Citizen)
- Ben Bishop is looking forward to experiencing the Montréal fans atmosphere where they boo the referees for not calling a penalty on anything and everything. Okay the reasoning might have been just me. Also, Paul MacLean doesn't feel comfortable despite the standings. (Ottawa Sun)
- Erik Karlsson, the greatest hockey player of all time, appeared on The Fan 590's Hockey Central (our organisation loves Toronto radio doesn't it?) to discuss the proposed hybrid icing rule as well as Karlsson's candidacy for the Norris Trophy. Darren Millard also randomly interrupted the interview to announce that Sidney Crosby is returning Thursday. (The 6th Sens)
- A late season collapse doesn't mean much for the first round of the playoffs. It takes a run of about 35 games at the end of the season until it starts to have an impact. How long has Boston been bad now? (Arctic Ice Hockey)
- Attempts to kill the trapezoid have failed! (Yahoo!)
- Steven Stamkos scored his 50th goal last night. Out of those, 40 have been even strength goals and only one has been into an empty net. (Yahoo!)
- Alexander Radulov will be eligible for the playoffs should he return to Nashville. (Yahoo!)