Chris Neil #25 of the Ottawa Senators gestures to fans after a fight in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Canadian Tire Centre on December 7, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
THIS WEEK’S PREDICTIONS
Sens 2 Flyers 3 (13-14-2) | Dec. 9
Sens 4 Sabres 1 (6-22-2) Dec. 10
Sens 4 Sabres 2 (6-22-2) | Dec. 12
Sens 2 Kings 4 (19-7-4) | Dec. 14
Sens 4 Panthers 2 (9-17-5) | Dec. 3 | Result: Sens 4 Panthers 2
Sens 2 Lightning 5 (17-10-2) | Dec. 5 | Result: Sens 1 Lightning 3
Sens 4 Maple Leafs 3 (16-12-3) | Dec. 7 | Result: Sens 3 Maple Leafs 4
Prediction record: 16-13 (Week: 2-1)
SENS FROM TO – Every week going forward for the Ottawa Senators is paramount. In order to prove they belong in the post-season, they must put together wins effective this week. Every subsequent week where they continue to come out with even or losing record, however, ‘paramount’ will quickly turn into ‘out’; perhaps even by the Olympic break.
Desperation hockey starts now.
The Senators need to be a .600 team minimum to have even a decent chance at a playoff spot. The new division playoff system ensures the best teams from each conference are selected so it has indeed become more difficult to make the playoffs.
The predictions above do not reflect what they need to do, but are just one person’s opinion of how they think it’ll turn out based on the past few weeks.
But they’ve been playing better of late, outshooting opponents in their last six games and have been winning the majority of faceoffs. Their puck possession numbers are better, but their execution with the puck must improve. The Senators have an excellent opportunity to make some ground in the Atlantic division with two games against the lowly Buffalo Sabres.They do, however, have 4 games in 6 days.
The Leafs did them a huge favour by losing to the Bruins Sunday. Gut check time in the nations capital.
IN THE STANDINGS:
Ottawa (11-14-5 | 27 points) – 6th in Atlantic (15 points behind division leading Bruins) – 7th in east wild card race (8 points back of a wild card)