With just 17 games left in their season, the Ottawa Senators have a daunting task ahead of them. Heading into Wednesday night’s action, the Senators trail the Philadelphia Flyers by five points in the sprint for the final wild card position.
Not out of reach just yet but it’s going to take some kind of magical run for Ottawa to close the gap on the teams ahead of them. An 11-4-2 record would get them to 92 points, which right now is the projected cut in the Eastern Conference. Impossible, you say? Not quite. In fact, it happened just a couple months ago. From the end of December to late January the Senators posted a 10-3-3 record.
So yes, it’s within reach. Sports Club Stats puts their chances at 11.5% heading into Wednesday night.
The Sens are off again tonight and actually don’t play again until Saturday in Montreal. Let’s take a quick look at the team’s remaining schedule.
New York Rangers
@ Tampa Bay
New York Islanders
@ New York Rangers
@ New York Islanders
10 home games, 7 on the road. 11 against playoff teams, 6 against non-playoff teams. 5 back to backs. 3 afternoon starts.
The way I see it, the only way this team was going to make any noise this Spring was if they went into the playoffs playing their absolute best hockey. And now with the situation they find themselves in, they’ll have to go on a pretty incredible run just to qualify. We’ve seen flashes, in Winnipeg and in the third period against Nashville, that suggest this team might be up to the challenge. When asked if his team still had a shot at qualifying for the playoffs, Captain Jason Spezza was quick to reply “We think so.”
Really, that’s all that matters at this point. The players still believe. And fans should too.
-The Senators were on the ice for practice yesterday but were without Craig Anderson and Cody Ceci. MacLean called Cody Ceci “day to day” and said he expects Craig Anderson to be ready for Saturday after suffering a “stinger” in the third period against Nashville. Clarke MacArthur, who has been sidelined with an injured hand, is expected to be in the line up on Saturday night in Montreal.
-Tonight is the Sens Skills competition down at the Canadian Tire Centre. If you haven’t had a chance to attend one of these events before, I highly recommend it. Great event to bring your kids to. For more ticket information, head here. A few predictions…Hardest shot-Spezza, Fastest Skater- Mike Hoffman, Overall winner- Team Spezza.