As we approach the mid-point of the season the Senators find themselves in a suddenly wide-open Atlantic Division. Mired in a season-long six game losing streak (and 1 win in the last 10) Montreal slipped into second place when Detroit beat the Preadators last night. Both teams have 43 points but Detroit holds 2 games in hand. Boston is just 1 point back and have a game in hand on Detroit. A loser point for the Bruins tonight would leap frog them over Montreal (games played tie-breaker) and Detroit (goal differential) into first, and put the Sens within 1 point of the division lead. Just 4 points separate the top six teams in the Atlantic. Buffalo is another 5 points back but are flirting with a .500 record (defined as having the same number of points as games played). And if you think Toronto is way out of it, they are just 3 back of Buffalo with 2 games in hand. Both of these teams have a winning percentage over their last 10 games, and a five game winning streak could move them into the conversation.
The Senators have a number of players either on the IR or playing hurt. Phillips likely will not play again, only his salary is preventing him from retiring. MacArthur (31 games) and Michalek (11 games) are two regulars who have missed significant time; both could be use in the top-six when healthy. Lazar missed 3 games in October with a concussion and now is out with a leg injury (I don't believe he's been placed on the IR so I'll assume day-to-day for now). McCormick has been recalled from Bingo. Ceci *has been* placed on the IR, and will be eligible to return on the 29th. Ryan aggravated his broken finger and did not finish the game against the Panthers but looks like he'll play tonight.
The Bruins played last night, losing 6-3 (two empty net goals at the end) to the Sabres. They will be a tired team, but also an angry team (right, Pierre?) Hopefully they are more tired than they are angry as the Sens (five rookies and three sophomores in their lineup, I believe) will likely need the help.
GO SENS GO!!!
Hey, I don't have all the answers. In life, to be honest, I've failed as much as I have succeeded. But I love my wife. I love my life. And I wish you my kind of success.
- Dicky Fox