Playoff time is now for Senators

- March 18th, 2014

There really was a playoff type atmosphere around Canadian Tire Centre Tuesday, with more reporters in the Senators dressing room after the morning skate than there’s been since the Habs were last here.
The New York Rangers being the opposition had a lot to do with that, of course. They are followed by more reporters than most teams.
They also currently represent the best chance for any team that’s just on the outside looking in at the Eastern Conference post-season picture.
The Rangers hold down the last wild card spot with 76 points, and they have just 13 games left. Washington, Detroit and New Jersey are between them and Ottawa, with 74, 73 and 71 points respectively.
Prior to Tuesday’s action, the Caps, Red Wings and Devils also had 13, 15 and 14 games left respectively.
And then there’s the Senators, with 69 points and 15 games remaining.
Now before everyone chimes in with claims that “the Senators are finished and they have no hope of making the playoffs” let me just say, that is probably the case. Probably, but it’s not quite.
Fact is, the Senators playoffs have already began. To play beyond their regular season finale in Pittsburgh April 13, they are expected to need about 24 of the 30 points left on their table. Their outlook is bleak, of course, but they are still alive.
Beating the Blueshirts at Canadian Tire Centre Tuesday night is mandatory.
If they can pull it off, they will trail New York by five points, and they will still have two games in hand. Now, there’s no guarantee the Rangers will remain in the Eastern Conference 8-hole, but if they do, the Senators would just need to win those two games in hand to creep to within a point of them.
Anyway, this is all just to say that even though they’ve already likely blown their season, they haven’t done so yet. Their playoffs are now. If they keep winning, they keep playing. A team like the Buffalo Sabres would love to have that luxury.

Categories: Hockey

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4 comments

  1. Bobby Goodman says:

    Donny, it is conspicuous that a player is not even metioned in the paper today after another effortless game played. Again, in an important game, he didn’t show up. I applaud your honesty on the radio before the game on Saturday night and you had an opportunity to validate your comments in the paper today (given the player’s perfromance last night). Bruce didn’t write a single word either. Why?

    On one ocassion he stopped skating for a puck in the corner 40 feet in advance, allowing the Ranger player a unfettered free pass. Even the annoyingly awful Potvin had to comment on it (albeit, politely). How many times did we see Methot pursuing the puck in his corner as well as his partner’s? How many times did passes miss their mark and shots get blocked (many times on the PP, rather than work it around and take advantage of an extra player, he chose to shoot it from 55 feet out). But what baffles me is this players total lack of effort in his own end; as you have stated, “he doesn’t even try”!!!!!!!!!.

    You and Bruce aren’t alone, the other paper had nothing to say about the face of the franchise either. I wonder why? Isn’t it note worthy that there are now only 5 defencemen in the league whose +/- is worse than his -18? Where will it be by the end of the year afterall, it has been heading in the wrong direction for many months.

    As I have said, plus/minus is a team stat but some players can be far more responsible for them than others. Spezza was minus one last night but both his linemates were minus 3. Hoffman was minus one and is celebrated centerman was minus 2 (the Hoff would have been even if his center could have delivered a decent pass to him on a PP). And, Methot was plus one last night while his partner was padding his stat with minus 3.

    I believe someone should read the sports and get an acurate picture of what happened in a game the night before; that does’t happen in Ottawa.

    The Ottawa Senators are now second last in the 30 team league for goals allowed. The Big Rig is now minus 11 and P/Dubya sits? Zzzz is now killing penalties as does Karlsson; is it because of their ability to win one on battles, ther intensity and competitiveness?

    This, another bad season for the Senators, is winding down and going down in flames. Is it within the realm of possibility there is rot in the organization? Can any team (business and sport) survive with two different standards of effort and conduct? Are there still fans/writers out there that truly believe the future is bright? There is lots to talk about Donny, but I am not convinced it will be said. Was your comments last Saturday a one off?

  2. Dan the Man says:

    What I am still trying to figure out is where or whom exactly are our players of the future?
    I keep hearing about all this wonderful talent being developped, all the great draft picks and the great core of players we already have. Excuse my ignorance, but whom are we talking about. As I said a few weeks ago, I really worry about Lehner. Has he been severely over-rated or is he simply having a streak of bad luck. Exactly what players in Bingo are going to improve this team? Will the likes of Condra, Greening, Smith, Decosta, etc…etc… get better to become legitimate parts to a Stanley Cup team? What about the defense? Do we even have a top 4 defenseman in the works besides Karlsson who probably should be playing forward? Players like Hemsky, Turris, Michalek, MacArthur, are average at best and would have troubles cracking most teams 2nd lines. I don’t see a favourable future for this team, keeping in mind, that dollars to donuts, Spezza, Ryan, and Lehner are probably chomping at the bit to get out of Ottawa as soon as they can. I think big changes are once again needed this summer to re-start the re-build. As Bobby says, there is something rotten in Sens land and one trade or free agent is not going to fix it. The playoffs without Ottawa in them makes for a boring spring.

  3. Bobby Goodman says:

    Dan, as hard as it is to believe, there are many who think Murray has done a good job with the Senators. I am not one of them and I don’t like what he has done with this once proud Franchise.

    In 30+ years in the NHL he his team never won the Prize. Did you know that he advanced beyond the 2nd round only once in his 17 years as head coach and that was with the Sens in ’07! If we can now accept the reality this version of the Sens wont go to the post season, we should classify Murray’s work as GM a dismal failure. In 7 years the Sens went to the 2nd round of the playoffs only once and lost embarrassingly to the Pens; they lost in the 1st round on 3 ocasions and by the end of this year, will have missed the playoffs 3 times. That’s the Team’s record, we’re all too familiar with all the rest: big contracts, no-trade contracts, home-town discount contracts, big cntracts for very old Russian stars, buy-outs, hiring and firing of Coaches, contract disputes, bad blood and wasted draft picks. He will have traded away another 1st round draft pick when Ryan walks. This was good enough to earn him a two year contract extension.

    Did you know that the Team’s over all plus/minus is -114 and the signs are all pointing for it to get even worse. The GM can introduce a “3 year re-build” and get everyone to buy-in. He can even re-introduce another “re-build” and still have some buy the BS. But the way this hockey club is performing, I’m not sure that there will be many supporters who “will like where team will be by the end of the year”. Yes BS baffles brains but there is a limit.

    The team has a top 4 Defenceman in Methot! C’est ca. Maybe the could have another in Karly but he needs an attitude adjustment and heart transplant. Ceci may be good over time. I wouldn’t say Turris and MacArthur are average at best, they are dandy hockey players! Michalek is on the slide and Hemsky although skilled has a history over his entire career of disappearing for extended periods of time. Greening is a mystery man, big, strong, fast and near useless. Neil is a bum (he went after the smallest kid in the game (again) last night. Smitty is a dandy 3rd or 4th line center (I say 3rd or 4th because it depends on how deep the team is in talent).

    I don’t believe there are a number of great prospects either Dan. At the start of every new season some here ask what expectations are for the players and the Team. We never get anything. If there are arn’t any stated objectives, how can a player/team fail? This team…this Organization is in big trouble and it breaks my heart.

  4. Visitor - Pierre D. says:

    You are correct Don, playoff time is now and as is typical of the Senators outside of 2003 and 2007, they’re already on the golf course mentally.
    But the coach says they will like where they are in April, guess the lobster is good in Nova Scotia at that time of year?

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