Tonight provides the most important test and challenge of the Ottawa Senators 2016/17 season.
Finally getting a win Tuesday against the woeful Detroit Red Wings, and more importantly a well needed shutout.
Tuesday was excellent in terms of Clarke MacArthur finally returning to the lineup after two-years on the sidelines with concussion injuries. Karlsson’s top shelf snapshot and the smile that followed said it all, he was back to lead this team to the promised land.
It’ll be interesting to see if Coach Boucher throws White into the lineup given his familiarity with all things Boston. A tough call, i’d say that Boucher will choose and experienced no-nonsense fourth line grinder tonight. The System has worked in all three previous meetings with the Bruins this season, against two different coaches. That in no means should point towards leniency. Lose tonight and realistically, the Sens could be facing the Washington Capitals in the first-round.
Win Tonight Would Almost Guarantee The Leafs
If the Ottawa Senators can secure both points tonight, they’ll all but assure a first-round tie against an Atlantic Division opponent. They need the confidence boost, facing the Caps would do the complete opposite of that.
As good as the Toronto Maple Leafs have been, the Sens have shut them down multiple times. The Sens have looked good shutting down the youthful offense of the Leafs and finding holes in their leaky blue-line.
My word have the Sens been brutal with their special teams, it begs the questions as to how they’ve held on so long when both the PP and PK have been brutal. 23rd and 22nd respectively. Contrast to the Bruins 2nd overall penalty kill and 7th overall powerplay. So the message will be simple, do not give away penalties, especially when a Sens PP goal would be a rare sight.
So pivotal he deserves his own headline. He can single handedly win this game for the Ottawa Senators tonight. You saw how empty that team looked without him, such a gravitas about the Swede. The only true world-class player in the Sens lineup. Having him back in the team will give Boston fits as his two-way game has been purely spectacular this year.
The Ottawa Senators to step up and cement their post-season berth. They deserve it, to crumble now would be a tragedy. As fans of the Ottawa Senators would tell you, it’s not been an easy season by any means, but it’s been an excellent ride. Time to keep it going.