The Sens are still clinging desperately to playoff hopes despite losing to the Islanders 2-1 on Wednesday night. The good news is that if the Sens don't make the playoffs, they'll be in line for a top ten draft pick...which will go to the Anaheim Ducks. it's been a disaster of a season for the Sens, but there have been a few bright spots:
- solid seasons from Turris (career high in points) and MacArthur (career high in goals)
- the play of trade deadline acquisition Ales Hemsky (12 points in 14 games)
- the emergence of Mika Zibanejad who is starting to look like a potential top six player
I mention these bright spots because there are so many lousy storylines for the Sens (Spezza's up and down season, Michalek's regression, the goaltending while Bishop shines for the Lightning). It's what makes the Sens a potentially tough team to face in the final days of the season. They haven't met (admittedly inflated) expectations and they're hoping to get a sniff of the playoffs.
The Canadiens who are coming off a frustrating (for fans and Therrien critics at least) are hoping to solidify home-ice advantage in the playoffs. This game is important is for the Canadiens, but nearly as much as it is for Ottawa.
It'll be interesting to see how Therrien dishes out ice time to and deploys his defensemen in this game. Subban, coming off one of his lowest playing times since his rookie season, played less than fan-favourite Douglas Murray. With Murray out of the line-up and rookie Jarred Tinordi back in the line-up, it'll be interesting to see how this impacts Therrien's use of Subban.
Additionally, Carey Price gets some rest tonight as Peter Budaj gets the start. At the other end of the ice Craig Anderson (who has stopped 101 of 107 shots he's faced in his last three games - .944 save percentage) will start for the Senators.
Update: Rene Bourque has been scratched in favour of George Parros. Jarred Tinordi will skate alongside P.K. Subban on the back end.
Tale of the tape
Puck drop is at 7 PM EST/8 PM AST
|Max Pacioretty||David Desharnais||Thomas Vanek|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Lars Eller||Danny Briere||Brian Gionta|
|George Parros||Ryan White||Michael Bournival|
|Andrei Markov||Alexei Emelin|
|Jarred Tinordi||P.K. Subban|
|Francis Bouillon||Mike Weaver|
Scratches: Rene Bourque, Nathan Beaulieu
Unavailable: Douglas Murray (suspended - 3 games)
As for the Sens
|Clarke MacArthur||Kyle Turris||Mark Stone|
|Milan Michalek||Jason Spezza||Ales Hemsky|
|Mike Hoffman||Zack Smith||Chris Neil|
|Jean-Gabriél Pageau||Mike Zibanejad||Erik Condra|
|Marc Methot||Erik Karlsson|
|Chris Phillips||Cody Ceci|
|Patrick Wiercioch||Eric Gryba|
Scratches: Matt Kassian
Injuries: Bobby Ryan (sports hernia), Jared Cowen (lower body), Colin Greening (lower body)
Check out the opposing side at Silver Seven