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Game 71: Ottawa Senators @ Atlanta Thrashers

Ottawa Senators
@ Atlanta Thrashers

Thursday, Mar 18, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT
Philips Arena

Enemy: Bird Watchers Anonymous

Complete Coverage >

Well, we're finally here: The Ottawa Senators' "must-win" clock has reached Defcon 1. That's right, I'm calling this game a must-win. Not for the race to win the division, not to stay ahead of the Canadiens, but simply for the players' sanity. Everyone knows that they've looked terrible since returning from the Olympic break. Throwing out a win against Edmonton, the Senators have lost to Toronto (twice), Carolina, and the New York Rangers -- all of whom are not currently in a playoff spot. They've scored one goal or less in all of the losses. They've been outworked by teams with less to play for. They've made average goalies look like all-stars. It's been a miserable time.

There is just one way to end it.

Mike Fisher returns from a one game absence and Filip Kuba supposedly returns as well, which would give the team its first healthy lineup in many months. There are no excuses left: no flu, no injuries, no hot goaltender to go against. For this Senators team, the playoffs start tonight.

Silver Nuggets: Don't hit that panic button

As always, you are invited to join us in the comments section, which will be less dramatic than this intro... I promise.