It’s finally here, the Ottawa Senators’ first ever outdoor game, the Heritage Classic! Although they’re calling for rain in Vancouver, so the roof at BC Place may be closed. So really, besides the fact that both teams are wearing different jerseys, it’s business as usual.
(26-23-11, 63 pts) 6th Atlantic Division
4 PM, BC Place
TV: CBC RADIO: TSN1200
TICKETS: Senators @ Canucks tickets
MATCHUP HISTORY: This will be the second, and final meeting between these two teams. The first matchup came in November, as the Senators hosted the Canucks in a 5-2 loss.
LAST GAMES: The senators are coming off their first game since the Olympics on Thursday night. The Detroit Red Wings came out on top in that one, winning by a score of 6-1. The Canucks lost in the shootout to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bobby Ryan, OTT – After having some trouble scoring, he now has two goals in two games (although, there’s a two week gap between them). If the Senators want to make the playoffs, the team has to start scoring. Ryan has to continue playing the same way, and the rest of the team has to step it up.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Jared Cowen? More like Jared Cow-out (sorry): Jared Cowen will be scratched for the Heritage Classic, and will be replaced by Patrick Wiercioch. I’m sure 99.9% of Senators fans are perfectly okay with this (the 0.1% being Cowen’s parents). Even though he isn’t playing, Senators fans will somehow find a way to blame him should the Canucks win.
2. Where’s the Hype?: Everyone seems surprised at how little build up there has been for the game. No one is really all that excited about it, and it makes sense. NHL, in case you’re reading this, you’ll want to pay close attention to this next part: outdoor games lose their excitement when you have six in one season. Remember when the penalty shot was exciting? Now it’s no big deal because there’s a shootout every couple days.
3. More Than Just 2 Points: With a loss, the Senators could be 7 points back from a playoff series. Will Bryan Murray still want to be a buyer at the deadline with a gap that large while there’s only 21 remaining games? This game could be very important in the pursuit of Chris Stewart/Matt Moulson.
The Senators have been outscored 13-3 in their past two games. They’d better get themselves together if they want to get two points at BC Place. We truly have reached the point of must win games, and if the Senators are successful on this four game western road trip, they could be right back in it. Over their next five games, they play five of the six worst teams in the west. They’re going to need at least 7 points to consider it a successful five games, four on the road, and one at home.