While still heavy favourites to make the playoffs, the Ottawa Senators might be starting to feel a little bit of pressure with the Buffalo Sabres (and the Washington Capitals) four points behind Ottawa. Washington has a game in hand while Buffalo does not. It is also worth mentioning that Ottawa owns the tiebreaker over Buffalo, so it is essentially a five point lead over Buffalo with eight games to go.
Keeping in mind that Buffalo's final eight games include matches against Pittsburgh, New York, Philadelphia and Boston, and one becomes a lot more secure in the Senators chances. Ottawa has games against the Canadiens, Islanders and Hurricanes and really three wins should be enough to put them into the postseason even if they lose every other game. A 3-5-0 finish from Ottawa would leave the Sabres needing to go 5-2-1. Ottawa will likely do better and Buffalo will likely do worse.
Winning tomorrow's game in Montréal would go a long way towards easing some of the doubts creeping into the minds of the club's fans. It is also worth mentioning that for all the struggles against the Habs this year, Ottawa has taken five out of a possible six points in the last three games against Montréal.
More after the jump.
Here are today's links:
- Kyle Turris understands that the Senators have the ability to get back on track and make the playoffs. He also understands that Jason Spezza is hard to replace. Paul MacLean feels the Senators need to score more (or at all?) and Daniel Alfredsson points out that Ottawa has dug themselves out of slumps before. (Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Craig Anderson is back at practise but the Senators won't say when he will return. At some point will Mark start hating him ala Hasek? :( Jesse Winchester is also close to a return. (Ottawa Sun)
- Yesterday, it was reported Ben Bishop might play both games of the back-to-back on the weekend. (Senators Extra)
- But...Anderson might be inching closer to a return tomorrow? (Steve Lloyd)
- UPDATE: Ignore everything else I said, Anderson will start tomorrow according to Paul MacLean. This is important because Paul MacLean decides who plays. (Ian Mendes)
- Jason Spezza was back at practise and wouldn't say he was 100% but implied he plays tomorrow. (Steve Lloyd)
- A few days old but Bryan Murray praises Erik Karlsson's defensive game before stopping and realising he has to re-sign him. (Montreal Gazette)
- Robin Lehner had a 41-save shutout last night in Binghamton. (Press & Sun-Bulletin)