Jason Spezza is seen pondering the implication of tonight's games. (Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE)
It's that time again when I have nothing else to write about. So here are the preferred outcomes for tonight's games, as judged by me, the supreme decider of all things good for the Sens.
Buffalo Sabres versus Washington Capitals
This is the big one for the Senators. Ottawa sits four points ahead of both clubs though the Senators have an extra game played. Since Ottawa owns the tiebreaker with Buffalo, but not with Washington, the preferred outcome is that the Capitals win. Should the Capitals win in regulation, Ottawa would have a four point lead over the Sabres plus the tiebreaker, essentially making it a five point lead with five games left. Because of the tiebreaker there is no significant difference to the Senators between a Buffalo regulation win or a Washington overtime win.
Best case: Washington in regulation.
Chicago Blackhawks versus New Jersey Devils
The Senators are still in touching distance of sixth place and playing the Florida Panthers. New Jersey has a two point lead and a game in hand. Should the Devils lose in regulation tonight, Ottawa will control its own destiny for sixth place as they have a game left with the Devils on the final day of the season. Ottawa would win a potential tiebreaker.
Best case: Chicago in regulation.
Florida Panthers versus Montréal Canadiens
This is a slightly tough one. Florida is a point behind Ottawa so even if Washington and Buffalo go on a tear, Ottawa could still make it if the Panthers collapse. However, Florida has a really easy schedule, so they are not going to miss the playoffs. It is best if they win the division should Ottawa take sixth.
Best case: Florida win.
Tampa Bay Lightning versus Boston Bruins
For all realistic purposes, the division race is over. Boston has a three point lead and two games in hand. But, Ottawa does have a game left with Boston, so one never knows if Ottawa can run the table.
Best case: Tampa Bay in regulation.
More after the jump.
Here are today's links:
- Recap from last night. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Post-game audio from Paul MacLean, Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Craig Anderson. (Senators Extra)
- Ben Bishop is out for the regular season and Erik Karlsson was looking forward to being booed for the first time. (Ottawa Sun)
- Nicholas Cotsonika writes yet another case for Karlsson winning the first of his many Norris Trophies this season. (Yahoo!)
- Daniel Alfredsson is only the 8th player in NHL history to score 25+ goals at age 39. (Ian Mendes)
- Ottawa's goaltenders tend to get injured a lot. (Senators Extra)