Sometimes things happen that are completely out of your control, like a team losing their best forward, best defenseman, and starting goaltender all at the same time.
Over the years I've personally had very little respect for the Ottawa Senators as an organization, a team, or a rival. They've always been an afterthought to me. And while I still find a lot of the things they do as an organization a little bit gauche (like trying to prevent opposing fans from buying tickets), their team has been earning a lot of my respect.
Losing Jason Spezza, then Erik Karlsson, then Craig Anderson, after already losing Jared Cowen before the season, is completely absurd. Add in that Guillaume Latendresse is out, as is Peter Regin, as is Milan Michalek, and the Senators should be a lottery team.
But they haven't been. In fact, they're rolling. After losing to Toronto the game after Karlsson was hurt, they've won 4 straight. That is some serious perseverance. I'm not sure how long it can hold out, but I will say that Paul MacLean and his team have done a great job thus far in one of the worst situations imaginable. How well do you think the Habs would be doing without Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban, Carey Price, Brian Gionta, Brendan Gallagher, and Ryan White? I'd venture to say, very poorly. Those are the kinds of injuries that Ottawa is experiencing, and winning with. Kudos to them.
Now let's hope they'll lose tonight.
In comparison to the Sens, the Habs have been amazingly healthy. Only Rene Bourque will be missing tonight's game, still struggling with the flu.
The last game against the Senators was the last game that Erik Cole scored in, which didn't happen again for 9 games. He busted that slump against New York on Saturday, and hopefully he can continue his scoring ways tonight. He was the most effective Hab by far against the Rangers last year with 6 goals in 6 games, including a natural hat trick.
The top line for tonight will feature Brandon Prust on it once again, as they were crazy dominant against the Rangers, which you can see in Olivier's game recap. The line of Prust - Plekanec - Gionta had 13 scoring chances to the Rangers' 1 while they were on the ice, something Oliver said he's never seen before. It will be interesting to see if they get rewarded for that tonight with a goal or two.
For the view from the opposing side, check out Silver Seven.