The case for the Ottawa Senators making the 2021 NHL playoffs

The case for the Ottawa Senators making the 2021 NHL playoffs
Posted on April 30, 2021 | James O'Grady | Written on April 30, 2021
Letter type:
Blog Post
What—The Ottawa Senators making the playoffs this year? How’s that going to happen you might ask, after losing nine in a row early on? All season the Sens have been solidly in last place in the North division, often bouncing off the bottom of the NHL’s overall standings.

Sens Magic Elimination Number is 4 (now 2 after the Habs won Friday night)
Granted a lot of things have to fall into place. For one, the Senators must run the table, winning all of their remaining six games. If they do it, they will have 54 points. In a tiebreaker with both the Habs and the Flames, the Senators come out ahead in the head-to head match-ups, having won the season series already.
So, the question is, can the Habs, Flames and Canucks get to 55 points (54 for the Canucks) in order to beat out a streaking Ottawa Senators franchise? I say no, they will not. 
The Habs, with 51 points are obviously the closest team to passing the 54 point threashold. But, the Canadiens have a really tough schedule, are riddled with injuries to their star players like Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher, and they are struggling mightingly to find offense under their new coach Dominic Ducharme’s trapping style of play. If any team looks defeated already, it’s the Habs. While they used to be fast a team, I no longer consider them amoung the fastest team in the NHL. 
The Flames with 47 points now, have the easiest schedule to end the season, but also must win at least four of their remaining games to make it in, something I don’t think they can achieve given their level of play this year. Granted their last four games are against Vancouver, but, as teams go, Calgary is slow. They struggle to score and given Ottawa’s dominance of them this year, I expect them to win 2 or even 3 of their remaining games, but not four.
The dark horse is the Canucks. They have enough games remaining to go on a win-steak to pass everyone, but do they have it in them given their recent battle with COVID.
I say no. Although I do believe the Canucks would have made it had they not gotten sick, and that they are a better team than both the Habs and Flames right now. So, while I do expect them to challenge for the final playoff spot and I don’t expect them to roll over against Calgary in their final four games, I also don’t think they can overcome all of the challenges they face, with only 41 total points at this point.
I know it’s a long shot, but the way these young Sens guns are playing right now, if they can keep it up over the final six games, I believe they can squeak through into fourth place.
Shades of 2015
Start believing Sens fans—Because who do you think the Leafs would least like to play in the first round? Oh ya, and it would be a great series with Captain Tkachuk leading the way... 

James O'Grady 

Die Hard Sens fan living in Nepean Ontario

About The Author

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I am the founder of Unpublished Media--A social media entrepreneur, communications professional, part-time school teacher and community leader living in Nepean, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack... More