The Ottawa Senators are not off to a great start in March. In a challenging back-to-back series of road games against Atlantic Division opponents, the Senators fell in both contests. First, they were tenderized by a physical Philadelphia Flyers team in Philly that grounded out a close win. With their top line in order, the Philadelphia Flyers are playing like a playoff team. The tired Sens then visited a fresh, young New York Islanders team and could not compete for 60 complete minutes on the road.
The road trip does not get any easier for the Ottawa Senators, as two Original Six franchises await them. The Toronto Maple Leafs, who have found surprisingly effective goaltending from Ben Scrivens and James Reimer, are in playoff contention in the Eastern Conference despite injuries and a changing of the GM guard. The New York Rangers are surging, and their top line is clicking and healthy at last. The Senators have their work cut out for them in their next two games, particularly after dropping their first two contests of the month.
Perhaps the Ottawa Senators are finally falling to the injuries that have marked their season. Goaltender Craig Anderson is still out, but Ben Bishop has filled in nicely for a short period of time. Both of their back-to-back losses have come in tight games. Jason Spezza is out for the year due to back surgery, and one of the most exciting defensive players in hockey, Erik Karlsson, is also lost for the season after a cut to his achilles tendon required surgery.
Perhaps the Sens simply don’t have enough firepower to make up for all their injuries. After back-to-back losses, and with two tough road games ahead, the Senators season could be slipping away right before our eyes. They defied the odds for a brief while, but nobody expected them to keep winning.