Would The Ottawa Senators Be Best Served To Leave Alfredsson, Gonchar At Home For Final Game vs Boston?


The way it is shaping up, the Ottawa Senators could go into the rescheduled game against the Bruins on April 28th with the opportunity to determine their own playoff opponent.

There are a lot of things that could happen between now and then, but that day that was tacked onto the end of the schedule will likely have implications, and Ottawa might even be in the situation where beating the Bruins could make them first round opponents while losing to them could give Boston a division title.  Picture Ottawa in the 5th spot with the Bruins in the 4th seed, a point behind Montreal with their game being the only one left on the schedule.

Apr 18, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson (11) outmaneuvres Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouver (20) in the third period at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Capitals 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Does Ottawa, who have had much better success against Montreal than Boston over the years, “lose” on purpose and maybe rest older veterans like Daniel Alfredsson, Sergei Gonchar and Chris Phillips or a banged up player like Milan Michalek and essentially give Boston the division title so that they can avoid playing the Bruins in the first round?  With one less day of rest at the end of the season, I am sure Alfie and Gonchar could use the extra day and not need to travel with the team to Boston for a game that they wouldn’t really want to win anyway.

It would be different if Ottawa somehow claws their way into a position where home ice in the first round were on the line, that the Senators would definitely want to go after that, but that scenario seems unlikely.  An Ottawa win over Toronto on Saturday would bring the prior scenario into play as the Sens would pass the Leafs into 5th, setting up a potential first round matchup not against Washington but either Boston or Montreal.