The Ottawa Senators have clinched a playoff spot but they still have three games left to go in the season. They can use this time to rest some players and/or try to potentially move up a spot. As it stands right now, the Senators have an 87.7% probability of playing the Boston Bruins in the first round. The general thinking among fans appears to be to try and avoid the Bruins in the first round. The best chance Ottawa has of doing that is to either finish 3-0-0 or to finish 0-3-0.
Should the Senators win all three games (including the one against New Jersey in regulation) and the Devils pick up no more than two points against the Islanders and the Red Wings, then Ottawa will finish sixth. Winning all three games is certainly possible, with home games against Carolina and Boston. The Bruins have already clinched the second seed and cannot move any higher, so the final three games are meaningless for them. If Ottawa cannot finish sixth, the other way to avoid Boston would be to finish eighth. The Capitals would have to gain four more points than the Senators over the final three games.
Aside from that, some players are also near some personal milestones. Erik Karlsson with 77 points is three points behind Nicklas Lidstorm's record of 80 points by a Swedish defenceman. The 80 points are also the most by any defenceman since the lockout. Karlsson also needs one more goal to break the club record for goals by a defenceman. Daniel Alfredsson is at 58 points and two more points would make him the fourth Senator with 60 points this season. Jason Spezza is on 32 goals, which is only two less than his career high.
I look forward to showing Adnan and Dave their predictions at the end of the season and laughing at them.
Check after the jump for my response to Darren.
Here are today's links:
- Game recap from last night. (Silver Seven, Ottawa Sun, Senators Extra)
- Jesse Winchester was understandably very happy to be back yesterday. (Ottawa Sun)
- Since a meeting between Paul MacLean, Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Chris Phillips before the Penguins game, Ottawa has won four in a row outscoring the opposition 22-12, not counting the shootout. (Sportsnet)
- The Sens are 10-1-0 when Kyle Turris scores a goal and 16-2-1 when he gets a point. (NHL)
- Stefan Noesen currently leads the OHL playoffs with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 6 games. (OHL)
- Jakob Silfverberg continues to lead the Elitserien playoffs in goals and points. (HockeyLigan.se)
- The talk of Karlsson's contract negotiations came up Saturday night on The Hotstove. Here is a transcript from Nichols as well as his comments. Mike Milbury doesn't care about Karlsson's feelings. :( What a monster! (The 6th Sens)
- Karlsson meanwhile leads NHL defencemen in seven separate categories. The categories are goals, assists, points, shots, takeaways, even-strength goals and the number of first goals of the game. (Ottawa Senators)
- He is also #4 on Yahoo's fantasy hockey list of playing well above expectations. (Yahoo!)
- Bryan Murray will be on the Team 1200 at 3:25 today. (Ottawa Senators)