If the list of injuries wasn’t enough, the Sens have a frightening four-game road trip to deal with that concludes with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Sens @ New Jersey Devils 22/2/17
Oddly, the Devils aren’t out of playoff contention. Sitting only five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, they could yet spring a surprise. Ottawa would like to have had New Jersey well and truly out of any post-season hysteria. That’s hockey. With the medical list stretching to catastrophic proportions, the Sens will need to play a tight game to avoid losses in their next four games.
Beware the hungry Devils as they will be scratching tooth and nail in order to secure a playoff berth for the first time since 2011-12. Losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the finals, oddly not qualifying since.
Sens @ Carolina Hurricanes 25/2/17
The Sens then travel to Carolina. A team who have fallen off the face of the earth in recent outings. At one stage, looked likely to gain passage through to the playoffs but now sit dead last in the Metropolitan division. In this strange part of the world we call the Eastern Conference the Canes are only nine points off the Toronto Maple Leafs.
If the Sens are to secure a win on this road trip, this is the game that they are most likely to win. A team that is 3-6-1 in their last ten is very much beatable, even with a depleted squad.
Sens @ Florida Panthers 27/2/17
Here comes the meaty section of this road trip, concluding with two divisional match-ups. First up the Panthers in Sunrise, Florida. A resurgent side that took a while to kick into gear following the sacking of Gerard Gallant. Sitting just a solitary point behind the Leafs with a game in hand. Their last ten doesn’t make pretty reading for a visiting side with 7-2-1.
The hurt Sens will struggle in this matchup, hopefully there will be some good news on the injury front by then. The Panthers have been transformed since they changed their school of thought from old-school coaching to an analytics based approach.
Sens @ Tampa Bay Lightning 28/2/17
Eased into the road trip with a few days break they finish with a nasty back-to-back. The Amalie Arena is the location before they return to sunny Ontario. Tampa have been one of those teams that no one can quite work out, are they going to turn it on? 5-2-3 in their last ten points towards an upward curve yet nothing concrete. They too only sit five points adrift of Toronto.
Difficult to put a prediction on this one as you never know this year which Tampa side will turn up. Surely still depleted the Sens could struggle once more, or unite under the banner of the system.
It will be an interesting week for sure and most fans would take two wins out of four given the circumstances.