I might have given up on the playoffs for the season, but I hope that the players haven't. There are 20 games left and they are four points out of a playoff spot and would have to pass four teams. SportsClubStats puts their chance at a playoff spot at 14.4% and has them needing to go the equivalent of 12-6-2 over the last 20 games just to give themselves a 50-50 shot at a playoff spot.
The Senators need to go on a huge run for 20 games. Is it likely? No. Is it possible? Yes. Having lost Cory Conacher to waivers along with a third and fifth round pick to acquire Ales Hemsky, the Senators will be back in action tonight against the Calgary Flames. Here are the likely lines:
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Hemsky
Hoffman - Zibanejad - Condra
Greening - Smith - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phillips - Ceci
Wiercioch - Gryba
Some notes for tonight:
- Chris Phillips must be happy about having Ales Hemsky on his team after being turned into a pylon by Hemsky last night.
- Will Paul MacLean ever realise that Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil contains his worst two wingers and the worst centre and that they should play for five minutes a night?
- Can Bobby Ryan be given ice time worthy of his play and skill?
- The Senators have largely been a one-man team (more than usual) since the Olympic break. Shot attempts during 5-on-5 play in the last three games have been 82-30 Ottawa with Erik Karlsson on the ice and 74-71 for the opposition with Karlsson off the ice.
- Jared Cowen is likely a healthy scratch for the third straight game.
- I hope that the team proves me wrong and makes the playoffs. Would be wonderful to see. And super fun.
- Marc Methot is one point away from getting 20 points in any league for the first time in his career. This includes junior hockey.
- After managing to convince Bryan Murray that he is still of use three years ago, Chris Phillips did it again for another two years. Phillips must be smiling.
- With Phillips, Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki, Jared Cowen and Patrick Wiercioch all left-handed defencemen signed to one-way deals next year, have to think Wiercioch (or Cowen) is out the door before training camp.
- Paul MacLean has been an absolutely awful coach this year. There are talent issues on the roster, and they have been a bit unlucky with the percentages, but this team is likely comfortably in a playoff with some better coaching.
Here are some stats leaders for the two teams tonight.
|Goals||Bobby Ryan||22||Sean Monahan||18|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||40||Jiri Hudler||29|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||57||Jiri Hudler||43|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||198||Mike Cammalleri||136|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:21||Mark Giordano||25:20|
|Corsi Close %||51.9%||9th||45.2%||27th|
|Fenwick Close %||50.7%||14th||46.7%||27th|