On Saturday afternoon, the Ottawa Senators came out flat and spoiled a great opportunity to finally jump into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll get another chance tonight against the Capitals.
A win in Washington combined with a Columbus loss in regulation against the Los Angeles Kings would mean the Senators could finish the night in the second wild card spot in the East. There’s still a ton of hockey left to be played but it would obviously be a significant milestone for a team that appeared to be down and out about a month ago.
This upcoming four game road trip could go a long way towards deciding the Senators fate this season. With games against Washington, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Columbus, Ottawa is taking on teams that are all around them in the standings. It’s crucial that they pick up some points during a difficult stretch of road games.
At yesterday’s practice, Mark Stone went down with looked like a pretty serious injury to his wrist. Reports from the skate suggested that he took a pass in his skates and tripped up, crashing into the end boards. The severity of the injury isn’t known just yet but the fact that the Senators were so quick to call up Da Costa suggests the news can’t be good for Stone.
With Da Costa returning, MacLean will do some juggling with his forward lines. No changes to the defence though. Here’s how the Coach has them lined up at the morning skate.
(UPDATE 12:24 PM)- According to Head Coach Paul MacLean, Marc Methot suffered an injury in practice and will not play. Looks like Patrick Wiercioch will draw in for the Senators.
The Senators may catch a bit of a break as Alex Ovechkin is being called a game time decision. While the Sens, and Erik Karlsson in particular, have always done well against Ovechkin, his loss would be a significant one for the Caps.
Craig Anderson gets another start for the Senators. Braden Holtby guards the net for Washington. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:00 PM with the game available on TSN.
The Daily Chirp- Yesterday, Bob McKenzie was the first to report that Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk and General Manager Bryan Murray were in New York at the league’s head offices. It’s believed they were there to present the findings of the “investigation” into last year’s incident between Matt Cooke and Erik Karlsson. In an interesting twist, TSN pulled the story from their site despite the fact that they were entirely correct about the purpose of the visit. That was certainly part of yesterday’s discussion, anyway. The Senators didn’t intend for the details of this visit to be public and likely could have snuck in and out on a quiet Monday if not for the media coverage of the John Tortorella hearing. Will be interesting to see if the Senators comment any further.