Why Friday Is The Ottawa Senators’ First Must-Win Game Of The Season


Forget about the myth that you are never in trouble until you lose at home.  Never mind the fact that it’s not over until it is over.  Ninety percent of the time, I would tell you that game 4 is the most important game in any best of seven playoff series.  Well this game falls into that other 10%.

May 9, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens players shake hands after the game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Senators have played some important games this season, including the one that ended the 5 game slide near the end of the season.  But they haven’t faced a game that was as vital for them to come out on the winning end as they face right now.

If the Ottawa Senators do not win Game 2 in Pittsburgh on Friday night, their season is all but over.  Yes, they still have 3 games at home and if they can win on home ice, they only need to win one in Pittsburgh.

That is a lot of “if”s and “only”s.

If Ottawa comes home down 2-0, they would need to beat Pittsburgh 4 times in the next 5 games.  That mountain would be insurmountable against the most talented and arguably deepest team in the league.

This is not the time for solid efforts and/or moral victories.  The Senators must win the game in Pittsburgh and come home tied at one game  apiece, with it becoming a best of five series with three on home ice and the potential return of Jason Spezza.

Win and you are still in the series.  Lose and, no matter how you slice it, even the most positive and optimistic Senators fans would have to realize that it is only a matter of time before the Senators are on the wrong side of the handshake line.