Each day, I will take a look around the Eastern Conference games and look at matchups that affect the Ottawa Senators and their push for the playoffs. There are 4 matchups that directly impact the Senators position in the standings today, aside from their own game against the Buffalo Sabres.
NEW YORK RANGERS @ PITTSBURGH PENGUINS – The Rangers have lost 2 straight and sit 9th, two points out of 8th. They currently sit 4 points behind the Senators.
IDEAL OUTCOME: Pittsburgh win in regulation.
WINNIPEG JETS @ TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – The Jets visit Ottawa tomorrow evening, and heading into Toronto hold the 8th spot in the standings, 2 points behind Ottawa and a point behind the Leafs. A Winnipeg win combined with a Carolina loss would also put Winnipeg into first place in the Southeast and the #3 seed. Toronto sits in 7th and is one point behind the Senators.
IDEAL OUTCOME: Whatever happens, a regulation win is very important. A Toronto win would help a little bit more, because the Sens don’t really want to bring another team into the race, the Canes. Keeping the Jets behind them with an opportunity to be up 6 points on 8th with a perfect storm of a weekend would be great news for the Senators.
MONTREAL CANADIENS @ NEW JERSEY DEVILS – While the Habs have opened up a gap and are almost assured of a top 4 seed, the Devils sit tied with Ottawa for 5th after their overtime loss to the Flyers on Friday night.
IDEAL OUTCOME: Montreal regulation win.
CAROLINA HURRICANES @ TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – Carolina holds a one point lead on the Jets for first in the Southeast and the third seed. If they should lose in regulation to the Lightning and the Jets beat the Leafs, they would move into the 8th seed, making them more competition for the Senators.
IDEAL OUTCOME: Carolina Hurricanes win. The Sens want the Canes to keep ahead of the Jets.
So there is your guide for cheering for some unusual allies as the Senators could get some help in their quest to ensure a postseason berth. Sens fans will want to cheer for the Leafs, Habs, Penguins, and Hurricanes today. As much as it hurts.