Senators @ Bruins
Prev game : @ Maple Leafs, Monday, March 20
Cold : Tuukka Rask - .826 SP in last 2 GP
Injured : Matt Beleskey (DTD)
The Senators entered the weekend with the potential to take over the Atlantic Division with back-to-back games against the Canadiens. Now they sit four points behind the Habs, but still four points up on the third-place Bruins despite the Bs having won four of their last five.
Brad Marchand is on a tear. He’s third in the league in points, second in goals, and pushing his way into the MVP conversation. The good news is that Tuukka Rask has cooled off, likely due to playing 56 out of 71 games for the Bruins so far this season. This has a 57.7% chance of being a first-round matchup per Sports Club Stats, so let’s hope Ottawa continues their recent dominance.
Penguins @ Senators
Prev game : @ Sabres, Tuesday, March 21
Cold : Nick Bonino - 1P (1G) in last 5 GP
Injured : Trevor Daley (IR), Kris Letang (IR), Evgeni Malkin (DTD), Bryan Rust (DTD), Olli Maatta (DTD), Carl Hagelin (DTD), Ron Hainsey (DTD)
The Penguins technically haven’t clinched a playoff spot yet, but if they lost every game from here on out, they’d likely still make it. Sports Club Stats gives them a ~100% chance of making it if they go 0-11-0.
Sidney Crosby has been phenomenal this season, picking up from his (undeserved) Conn Smythe Trophy. It’s been good for the Pens, because half the team is on the IR. The team even traded for Ron Hainsey to replace their injured defence corps, and he’s hurt now too. The thing about the Pens is they’re always good, even if they’re beat up and have little to play for.
Senators @ Canadiens
Prev game : Hurricanes, Thursday, March 23
Cold : Torrey Mitchel - 2P (1G, 1A) in last 23 GP
Injured : Brian Flynn (DTD), Nikita Nesterov (DTD)
Ah, a wonderful rematch of the weekend’s games. Ottawa went 0-1-1 against the Habs last week, and they’re set to play them again. Ottawa went from the less-good team on Saturday to the far-worse team on Sunday. Hopefully a week changes things.
Paul Byron has continued his ridiculous scoring pace, hitting 20 goals on the year. In fact, most of the Habs have been playing well recently. They went through a rough patch, but most of the team has been contributing lately. The good news is the way things are shaping up, this won’t be a first-round playoff matchup. Hopefully a Rangers/Habs first-round series leads to a very beat-up team taking on the Sens in the second round. Or maybe Mark Stone comes back and Ottawa crushes everyone on the way to the Stanley Cup. I don’t even know why I bothered putting “maybe” in that last sentence.