With points in eight straight games and in 10 of their last 11, the Ottawa Senators are one of the hottest team’s in the NHL right now. After a disastrous start to the season, Paul MacLean finally seems to have his team playing the right way and the result has been a stretch of hockey that has allowed them to play their way back into contention in the Eastern Conference playoffs race.
In fact, with a win this afternoon, the Ottawa Senators could jump past both the Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs and into the top wild card spot in the East. A huge game at the Canadian Tire Centre this afternoon. Certainly won’t be easy though as they play host to another team that has been on an impressive run of late in the New York Rangers.
New York has posted a 7-2-1 record in their last ten and jumped all the way up to third place in the Metropolitan Division.
They are coming off a 1-0 win over the Red Wings on Thursday night in a game in which Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 38 shots he faced. It may seem like the Senators may be catching a bit of a break with Henrik Lundqvist getting the afternoon off but Cam Talbot has arguably been the better of the two goalies so far this season. He’s put up a 9-3-0 record with an impressive 1.66 GAA and a .938 save percentage. He’s obviously not going to steal the number one job from King Henrik but he has been damn good when given the chance.
Seems strange to say after an overtime loss, but the Ottawa Senators may just be coming off one of their best performance of the season. Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens featured one of the most impressive forty minute stretches this team has put together all season. If not for the spectacular goaltending of Carey Price, the Senators would have picked up an easy two points and may have hit double digit goal totals.
I would assume MacLean’s message is a simple one after a game like that- don’t change a thing. Early start means no morning skate. Yesterday at practice it certainly looked like Chris Neil was ready to return to the line up. No changes expected to the blueline but we’ll have to wait until MacLean speaks to the media to know for sure.
Craig Anderson gets another start for the Ottawa Senators. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 2:00 PM with today’s game available on CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada.
The Daily Chirp- Another team with a ton of trade rumours swirling around them? The Winnipeg Jets. Evander Kane and Dustin Byfuglien are two of the names mentioned most often and are probably both pretty attractive options for the Senators. One contact suggests that the Senators have asked about Andrew Ladd. I would expect the price to be ridiculously high and to be honest, I’m not convinced the Jets would actually seriously consider moving him.