Are the Ottawa Senators in the midst of a real play-off chase? The haters may say no, even the most optimistic models I’ve seen have the Sens at a less than 3-in-10 shot of making it to the post-season and most others are more like 2-in-10, but I defy you to look at this team’s current run and not feel like there is some real possibility with this group. What do you do even do when your favourite team is in the hunt? Are we at the stage of scoreboard watching? I almost don’t know what do with myself. Luckily, the Sens have four games this week that will help us get a real sense of what’s possible. Can’t wait.
As for the rest of the hockey world:
- With the dust finally settling after last week’s deluge of trades leading up to the deadline, we can finally take a step back and take stock of everything that went down. Justin Bourne’s got you covered in case you missed anything with some thoughts on every single transaction. You might not be surprised to learn that he’s a fan of the Jakob Chychrun trade for the Sens.
- From the Ottawa side of things, Ian Mendes had a comprehensive write-up on Friday over at the Athletic ($). The whole thing is worth a read, but this quote from Pierre Dorion, when asked about not having any picks in the first three rounds of this year’s draft, stood out to me:/
“We’ve had a lot of years with a lot of picks. If we go one draft and we don’t have as many picks, it’s OK,” Dorion said. “You know, we’ve had a lot of years with multiple first-rounders, multiple second-rounders. After this year, we have most of our picks.”
As I wrote last week, the Sens are clearly going for it now. The core should be set for the next several years. Of course it’s always good to have draft picks available but one year without any high picks is an acceptable cost of doing business.
- The Calgary Flames have really been going through it lately, maybe that Matthew Tkachuk trade hasn’t turned out so well after all, and their fans have taken to letting the team know what they think of the performance. Ornery bastard, errr coach, Darryl Sutter doesn’t blame them for expressing their feelings.
- This profile of Jaromir Jagr, focused on his ownership of Kladno Knights, the Czech league team from his hometown, is truly incredible. Jagr’s been a fixture in hockey since I was a young boy — it’s hard for me to imagine the professional game without him. He clearly still loves to play, but there’s also a deep sadness to this profile. This is a man who is seemingly carrying the weight of a whole town on his back.
- The women’s Frozen Four, aka the NCAA Division 1 hockey championships, gets underway in a couple of weeks. ESPN has a nice preview of what’s to come. Canadian defender Sophie Jaques was named the WCHA Conference player of the year, and is the engine that powers the favoured Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Last, but certainly not least, the latest episode of Elite Sens Brain, co-hosted by our own Beata, digs into the latest Sens happenings as well as explaining why Steve Yzerman is a fraud GM.
- BONUS LINK: Greg Wyshynski has the latest iteration of NHL Awards Watch, where he’s polled a group of members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association to get a feel on where things stand. The Sens’ best shot at a nomination is likely Jake Sanderson for the Calder, but he’s not mentioned here unfortunately. /