Game 82. We have has been led to believe that we will like where this team is after 82 games so tonight should be an exciting night. Joking aside, it has been a seriously terrible season. On paper this team is probably one of the top four teams in the east, but due to a variety of reasons they have underachieved. The goaltending has been a little bit below average, the defence has been worse than even the rather low expectations of them and the coaching decisions have been downright mind-boggling.
With the club playing last night, there will be no practice. Here are the likely lines. Robin Lehner will start.
MacArthur - Turris - Stone
Hoffman - Smith - Condra
Michalek - Spezza - Hemsky
Greening - Pageau - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Erik Karlsson has the chance to hit 75 points as well as an on ice Corsi percentage of 55%. These are big things.
- If the Senators had beaten the Islanders AHL team as well as not blown a three goal lead in regulation to the Canadiens, the Senators would be on a nine game winning streak and possibly still with a chance to get in. Can you imagine our mood if we squeaked in with a ten game winning streak? Even if it was to play Boston.
- It just highlights how badly the Senators performed to not get in a terrible eastern conference. The playoffs should have been an absolute minimum but really finishing eighth in the east would have been disappointing.
- Still the club has won four in a row and is on an 8-2-1 run. Doesn't mean much for next season but it is better to win than lose.
- Robin Lehner has been exceptional for the last six games. Nice to see him turn it around. Can he to it full time next season?
- Daniel Alfredsson ended his Senators career in Pittsburgh. Will the same thing happen to Jason Spezza?
- Kyle Turris was really good last night. So was Erik Karlsson. Sounds about right.
- Are you optimistic for next season? I would be shocked if they miss the playoffs again next season but I would like to hope get in and see what happens isn't the aim.
- If the club can re-sign Hemsky, they have some really good wingers in the top six. Even if Spezza is gone, seeing Hemsky all season with Zibanejad will be fun.
- The Senators season has ended against Pittsburgh in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 now.