Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Senators need help to miss the playoffs

The fact that there is a very real chance the Ottawa Senators could miss the playoffs should surprise nobody, yet the fact that they most likely will make it to the postseason should not be very surprising either.

See, the Senators play in the Eastern Conference; home to two great teams, two pretty good team and a bunch of middling and mediocre teams bringing up the rear. If the Senators are going to collapse and fallout of a playoff spot, then they’re going to need teams below them to actually play well enough to overtake them as well, even if they do win just one out of five games the rest of the season.

It doesn’t appear that’s going to happen anytime soon.

The Senators are currently in 5th in the East, five points ahead of 8th-place Boston and eight points up on the New York Rangers in 9th. The Rangers and the Atlanta Thrashers -- and perhaps the Tampa Bay Lightning -- represent teams that have to at least play their way into a playoff spot to actually knock the Senators out.

Right now, there’s a good chance that Ottawa can fall all the way out to 8th place. But with the Rangers and Thrashers not exactly lighting the hockey world on fire right now, they’ll most likely stay in the playoffs based solely on the incredibly poor play of the other teams in the conference.

The Rangers do face Boston on Sunday (on NBC!) and could make a four-point swing in the standings with a win. Yet Boston is three points up and could build more of a lead tonight against Pittsburgh.

The Senators are 5th in the East; with 79 points, they’d be out of the playoffs in the Western Conference.

It may not matter much anyways. Even if the Senators do hold on after falling to 8th, they’ll face Washington in the first round. That playoff series won’t last very long.