The Ottawa Senators have just seven games left before they take 18 days off for the Olympic Break. It’s a stretch of games that could very while decide whether or not this is a playoff team. And it starts tonight with a huge game in Columbus.
Every game is big right now but when you’re matched up against one of the teams you’re chasing, the two points become that much more significant. A regulation win would be a huge boost to this team’s playoff aspirations.
Columbus has started to cool off a little bit after a stretch of eight straight wins put them into third place in the Metropolitan Division. They lost to Buffalo on Saturday night and last night, blew a 2-0 lead against Carolina, eventually falling 3-2 in regulation. Those two losses caused them to slide out of the playoffs altogether. That’s how tight things are in the East right now.
The Blue Jackets currently have a two point lead on the Senators.
Because of the struggles the Senators went through earlier in the season, there really are no throw away games at this point. They need points and they need them badly. A quick look at the website Sports Club Stats shows that 89 points is the likely cut-off point to make the playoffs in the East. So let’s say 91 to be safe. That means the Sens need to go something like 17-10-3 over their final 30 games. Not impossible but they need to start stringing some wins together soon.
MacLean juggled his lines a bit at practice yesterday (go figure) and then juggled them again at the morning skate. Originally it looked like Condra would play with Spezza and Greening but he has been moved to the Zibanejad line.
One change on the blueline as defenceman Chris Phillips will not play. Patrick Wiercioch takes his spot in the line up and will be paired with Cody Ceci.
Craig Anderson gets the start in goal for Ottawa while Columbus is expected to counter with Curtis McElhinney. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:00 PM.
In case you missed the news on Twitter this afternoon, the Ottawa Citizen is reporting that TSN is expected to be the new home of the Ottawa Senators. The team’s regional rights are available at the end of the season and it looks as though TSN has grabbed the highly covered regional broadcasting rights. A dollar amount will be hard to come by but this is believed to be a pretty lucrative deal for the Senators. Great news for the organization!
The Daily Chirp- Something a little different today and it’s a simple reminder that today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. Texts, Facebook shares, phone calls and tweets all help to raise money for programs that promote Mental Health awareness. Check out this post for additional information on the initiative and the powerful “Purple Hearts” segment that aired on Sports Centre last night.