Last night’s game bred confidence into the Ottawa Senators. Beating the Colorado Avalanche is one thing but the Columbus Blue Jackets? That was a playoff series style win.
Much has been said about the Ottawa Senators’ need to finish second in the Atlantic to secure an ‘easier’ playoff tie. That simply doesn’t add up. The Sens have played extremely well against the other division and should chase the Atlantic title. There’s no need to remind you that Ottawa have lose four consecutive playoff series to Toronto. They’ll be looking to improve on the 9-15 overall playoff record.
Why Have The Sens Excelled In The Metropolitan Division?
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Having been built from the back and not the other way around, the team is more resilient against superior opposition. In doing so, not over committing on offense and plugging the holes in defense.
To refer back to that tweet, the Toronto Maple Leafs are 7-6-4 against the metropolitan. More importantly however, the Montreal Canadiens are 13-9-1. Neither team has excelled quite like the Senators against their Eastern Conference counterparts. Why is this? Montreal are playing a style of hockey that is too offensive at times given the standard of their roster. Toronto on the other hand, play far too offensively and get picked off at the back.
The Sens Have Dominated Their Own Division
10-10-1 against the Atlantic doesn’t scream domination does it? However, once you look a little closer, you’ll see that they’ve dominated the Atlantic in the right places. 2-0-0 against Montreal, 1-0-0 against Boston and 3-1-0 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The 1-4-0 against Buffalo is what brings that divisional record just below .500 percent, but the Sens won’t be facing them in the playoffs.
What Does All Of This Mean?
It means, the Sens should be confident whoever they face in the playoffs. The system works, especially against better teams who like to attack. The losses have come from weaker teams who have also sat back and Ottawa were forced to attack, thus leaving space for counter attacks.
Now is not the time to be worrying about playoff opponents, it is about getting the job done and securing that divisional title. If the Sens have to face a giant of the Metro in the first round so be it! If they are to collapse in the first round again, at least there will be a banner to raise.