The Post-season Dream is Over, Fleury Wins Again, and Chris Chelios Fights Everyone
We’ve reached the stage of the NHL season where teams are scrapping for the last few remaining play-off spots or jockeying for better position for the post-season tournament. Unfortunately for Ottawa, the last few games of the season have now been rendered officially meaningless as far as wins and losses go. With the way the Sens have ended this year, though, there’s some reason to hope that next year we’ll have meaningful games to look forward to for the first time in a long time.
- Alas, the Ottawa Senators’ post-season drought was extended to four seasons with the loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Bruce Garrioch has some thoughts about what the rest of the season and the off-season might hold for the team. It sounds like participation in the World Championships could be an option for several players.
- Ian Mendes had an article at the Athletic on Friday with a look at where the Sens could finish in the standings, as well as some historical comparisons to other franchises that have languished at the bottom of the league for several consecutive years($); the good news is this kind of prolonged futility has led to championships in the past. Here’s to hoping the Sens are more like the Pittsburgh Penguins than the New York Islanders in that regard.
- While the Sens’ season is over, there’s a lot of hockey left to play for the rest of the league. The folks over at ESPN tackle some of the pressing questions such as which play-off matchup has them the most excited. While I’m no fan of either team, I have to admit that I agree a Maple Leafs-Canadiens match-up has the potential to be electric — and one of them has to lose!
- The Vancouver Canucks have placed Jake Virtanen on leave following allegations of sexual misconduct. The story was first reported by Alanna Kelly of Glacier Media. The alleged victim, who remains anonymous at this time, has filed a report with the police. The team has retained an outside organization to further investigate the claims.
- The Seattle Kraken officially joined the NHL on Friday, meaning they can now complete trades and sign players. I have to admit, I wasn’t actually aware they weren’t officially in before now!
- Marc-André Fleury is now tied for third (!) all-time in wins for a goalie after the Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday evening. With 489, Fleury maybe has an outside chance of matching Patrick Roy’s 551 for second all-time but it seems quite unlikely he’ll catch Martin Brodeur at 691.
- And lastly, this one is a few days old now but Lauren Theisen has compiled a great list of all the times Chris Chelios throwing fought with some of the biggest stars of the 90s and early 2000s; at various points he fought Steve Yzerman, Teemu Selanne, and Luc Robitaille! If you’re not already a Defector subscriber, I cannot recommend it strongly enough; simply the best sports writing out there.
- Update, 1:40 EST: It has come to my attention that Defector are doing a Senators Theme Week starting today. I am delighted, and once again strongly suggest everyone check out the site and subscribe. There’s an explainer of the week here, an article on Mads Søgaard, and a piece about Josh Norris. Frankly, we are likely to see more piece about the Ottawa Senators during this week at Defector than we will for the rest of the year from all other national media outlets combined so enjoy!/