The assumption was that after getting thumped 10-0 in two games that the remainder of the four-game home stand would provide some stability. It hasn’t.
You may think that this assessment is harsh, but in reality if the Sens want to secure a playoff berth they need to find some form. Quickly. A .500 winning percentage for a four game home stand may seem rosy, but they were all winnable games.
Blues Game Inexcusable
The St. Louis Blues have not been good this season. A shadow of the team that almost collected the Western Conference crown. The Sens effort in that match was unfathomable, for the majority of the season under Boucher, this hasn’t been a problem.
One point that needs making is, losing matches is never a positive but in terms of the standings make sure it is against an opponent from the opposite conference. The Blues cannot steal a playoff place from Ottawa.
The Ottawa Senators made extremely hard work of the Dallas Stars, in a game where they should’ve put the sort of score St. Louis inflicted upon them. Considering the goal that made it 2-0 was placed into the net by Dallas themselves on a delayed penalty summed up the match.
A slight improvement in terms of effort, and finally finding the back of the net after two hours of unsuccessful offensive hockey. Dallas have been beyond poor losing six of their last seven games.
Beating them was no feat.
The Islanders resurgence since firing Jack Capuano is well and truly over. Losing 7-1 in Toronto last night, they will fall off the pace yet again. Yes, it was inspiring to see Craig Anderson back between the pipes and getting that all important shutout. At a time where it seemed that the Sens could concede from anywhere on the ice.
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Looking more organized and cruising to an important four points in succession. 3-0 at home, you cannot ask for much more. The Islanders were relatively woeful during the entire game, testing Anderson at numerous times, but every team has challenged the Ottawa net.
Buffalo Claim Important Back To Back Wins Over Sens
As mentioned previously in the article, losing to a Western Conference side is not in itself cause for alarm. Losing twice to a divisional rival in 10 days is catastrophic. Not only are the Buffalo Sabres rapidly gaining ground but their Ontario neighbours stacked with wonder kids. Toronto now only a point off Ottawa having played one more game.
Must Win In New Jersey
New Jersey, should, be out of playoff contention. You just never know in this league. The Ottawa Senators must go to the Prudential Center and win. In doing so they’ll alleviate the pressure on the team, and begin to look more cemented in that second position in the Atlantic. In all honesty, you’d expect the Montreal Canadiens to kick into gear given the shock appointment of Claude Julien.
Win in Jersey, ease pressure, gain confidence. It sounds so simple right?