The Senators begin the new year like they did at the start of 2015 -- out of a playoff spot with mounting injuries. The losses of MacArthur and Michael combined with poor defensive play from anyone not name Erik have put the Senators at the bottom of the league in giving up shots on goal. On too many nights Anderson's heroics have not been enough to counter the league's worst defense.
Elsewhere in the East, the Panthers recent run (8 in a row and counting) has Florida atop the Atlantic, while the Leafs' improved play has them within five points of Ottawa, with a game in hand.
Joining the Sens in the recent slump are the Canadiens, who have earned just six points in their last ten games (the Senators have seven). The recent return to action by Brendan Gallagher gave the team enough spark to humiliate the Bruins in the Winter Classic, but until Price returns this team is not out of the woods.
Similarly for the Sens, they have really missed MacArthur and Michalek, as Cameron appears to be allergic to playing rookies or players who aren't known for their defense. While Prince has the fourth best points per sixty on the team, it's Smith getting top line minutes and Chiasson with the PP time. Similarly the team's leading goal scorer is not on the first PP unit.
Tonight the Sens face the reigning Champs for the second time this season. The first game ended in OT on Mike Hoffman's second goal of the game. I'm sure the Blackhawks remember that game and will want a certain measure of revenge. It won't be easy and the first step would be to reduce the number of shots and scoring chances.
GO SENS GO!!!