Tonight, we witness the final game of the regular season between the Boston Bruins and the Ottawa Senators. Both teams are locked in the playoffs, but there's still something on the line: The final standings aren't yet determined.
Here are the scenarios that could happen tonight, as far as I can tell:
- Ottawa win (regulation or overtime): Senators play Montreal in first round.
- Regulation Boston win: Senators play Pittsburgh in first round.
- Overtime or shootout Boston win: Senators play Boston in first round.
Feel free to discuss your 'preferences' in the comments, but be warned: The hockey gods frown on that sort of thing. The Bruins also have three possible scenarios, which you can read here.
It's unclear at this point whether the Sens are icing a full lineup or if they're resting a few players (Erik Karlsson could probably use a rest), but there are pros and cons either way. We'll see what MacLean decides to do.
Some notes for tonight:
- Since it's possible that the Sens and Bruins will face off in the first round, I wonder if either team will try to make a statement physically tonight.
- Against the Flyers, Ottawa struggled to retrieve loose pucks in front of Steve Mason and get chances off rebounds; that was a big reason why Mason looked so good last night. Tonight they'll be looking for a bigger presence in front of the net.
- It's expected that Wade Redden will play for the Bruins, according to the Boston.com preview. In his career against the Senators, Redden has two assists in eight games played.
- Kaspars Daugavins is also expected to play, although that may depend on Jaromir Jagr's health. Chris Kelly has returned to the lineup as well.
Despite being the last game of the season for Ottawa, this one has pretty huge implications for the post-season success of the team. We'll see how they come out at puck drop.