The thing is, though, they are still in a playoff position half way through the year, and they’re doing it without their stars.
With a tough shootout loss to the Bruins, Ottawa still sits in the playoff picture. The Eastern Conference very close, and one costly error could take Ottawa out of a playoff spot. With the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets all breathing down Ottawa’s neck, all games leading up to the end of a small, 48-game schedule is very important. (Like we already didn’t know that.)
Injuries can be a blessing in disguise, however. Ben Bishop and Robin Lehner have both been playing great hockey, stopping most of the shots they are faced with. Kyle Turris, Zack Smith, and Colin Greening have all stepped up for the “Sens Army”, not to mention the defense of Chris Phillips and Sergei Gonchar.
No, it isn’t wrong to count out Ottawa of the playoffs, but remember, this team has been playing and fighting, and they have done so successfully.
Right now, failure is not on option. This could be Daniel Alfredsson‘s final season as a Senator, and the fans, management, and players wouldn’t want him to go out on a low. The Stanley Cup may be a long shot, but it doesn’t mean Ottawa won’t be gunning to stay in a playoff position.
Don’t be surprised if the black and blue Senators make it into the playoffs. Even without their top stars, this team is reaching its full potential. Injuries are letting Ottawa’s future stars feel the spotlight, and they are doing so in an impressive manner.
It wouldn’t be the end of the world for Ottawa with a playoff miss, but don’t scoff at the idea that Sens playoff tickets will be for sale, either.