The Ottawa Senators play their final home game of the season tonight against the rival Toronto Maple Leafs. Both teams probably expected this game to mean a whole lot more but a season of disappointment for Ottawa and a three week collapse for the ages from the Leafs takes some of the excitement out of the final installment of the Battle of Ontario.
Just fan base bragging rights on the line tonight at the Canadian Tire Centre.
About one month ago, the Senators were 12 points back of Toronto. The Leafs were playoff bound while the Senators were preparing for a long off season. As the old saying goes, misery loves company. Another epic collapse is now complete in the Big Smoke and instead of preparing for the first round of the NHL playoffs, the Leafs will join the Senators on the golf course in a couple days. But not before one team comes away with the prestigious Ontario Cup, awarded to the province’s best team.
No it’s not a real thing but it sure would be nice to hand the Leafs one last loss to end their season and finish ahead of them in the standings in the process.
As expected, Mika Zibanejad will be out of the line up for the weekend games. Paul MacLean spoke to the media this morning but said he had not yet made up his mind on any potential line up changes. Both Jean Gabriel Pageau and Matt Kassian are available to play. I would assume MacLean is leaning towards Kassian with the Leafs in town but Pageau makes a little more sense when you consider the need for another centre. We’ll have to wait until game time to know for sure.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal. Puck shall drop just after 7:00 PM.
The Daily Chirp(s)- Kind of a weird situation involving Sens forward Mika Zibanejad following Thursday’s game. The team has been pretty quiet about the nature of his “injuries” but have emphasized that it was just a matter of the team being precautious. And with the Senators playing out the string this weekend, there’s no need for Mika to rush back. I don’t know a whole lot about the nature of the injury but I can tell you it wasn’t concussion related and that after the tests done yesterday, everything was apparently normal. MacLean indicated that there would be additional tests this week. And if you’re wondering why the team would be so quiet about the nature of the injury, it’s safe to assume that is at the request of the player.
And a follow up on the Daily Chirp from the other day. The Sabres and Senators have been at odds a little bit lately and it has to do with Sabres GM Tim Murray pursuing a couple of his guys, with the intent of bringing them over to the Sabres organization. Rob Murphy’s name has been mentioned before but it’s believed Murray spoke to others. Safe to say the Senators aren’t exactly “happy” with the idea of losing more staff to the Sabres and may be exploring an official complain with the league. Like I said, something to keep an eye on over the summer.