Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
For it all to end now would be cruel and unusual punishment.
It would be like falling in love, proposing, then being left at the alter. Ten times over.
But only worse.
Can you see it happening? Not me. If the Hockey Gods were just going to break the hearts of destiny's darlings on the final day of the season -- after all they've done the past two-months -- they would have left them as they were on Valentine's Day, back when everybody was resigned to the fact this Senators season would end on April 11.
For them to deny Ottawa a point, by lucky bounces or bad calls, in its game against the Flyers Saturday afternoon, well, that would be one thing. But then to allow the wayward Boston Bruins to collect two against a superior Tampa Bay team still playing for first in the division and then home ice advantage in a series down the road, well, it would almost be like Lightning striking the same tree twice.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The team of destiny now controls its own. The Ottawa Senators need just a single point Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia to clinch a playoff berth, something that was unthinkable just seven weeks ago. But after a 20-3-3 run, one of the most impressive late-season stretches in years, the never-say-die Sens are on the verge of completing a miracle.
Ottawa blanked the Presidents' Trophy-winning New York Rangers 3-0 at MSG on Thursday night, albeit a New York team that rested a few key regulars, but still, a terrific road effort. The Boston Bruins did their part for the Senators, dropping a 4-2 decision at Florida, making it back-to-back losses on back-to-back nights for a B's team now in serious danger of missing the playoffs.
Ottawa now sits at 97 points in the top wild-card spot, the Pittsburgh Penguins are next at 96 points (with two games left), and the Bruins are on the outside looking in with 95 points and one game remaining, Saturday at Tampa Bay.
Is all this really happening? Is Sens rookie goalie Andrew Hammond, a complete unknown a few weeks ago, really now 19-1-2? You cannot make this stuff up. Oh, and with the Senators needing just one point Saturday, you know they can't cap this kind of run with a loser point. Expect a victory over the Flyers. It's the only way to go.
read on for topics like the Kings, Wings and more from the ESPN crew...
via Don Brennan of Off The Post at the Ottawa Sun,
With one game left in the regular season, the Senators are now in control of their own destiny.
By getting even just a single point Saturday in Philadelphia, they guarantee themselves a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ottawa’s 3-0 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden Thursday night continued its wild dash to the regular season finish line, and beyond.
Not only did the Senators leap past the Bruins, but they landed in the first wild card spot with Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.
The Penguins are one point behind the Senators but have two games left.
Meanwhile, the Senators could still move past the Detroit Red Wings into third place in the Atlantic Division. The Red Wings have 98 points after losing in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Senators could lose Saturday and still get in if the Bruins don’t get two points against the Lightning.
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
Is there a more beautiful thing than when the escapism of sports crosses over to real life to make a difference.
That’s just what these young Ottawa Senators are doing for Bryan Murray, the veteran general manager said Wednesday that his team’s improbable 19-3-3 run has provided some inspiration as he continues his battle with Stage 4 colon cancer.
"Absolutely," Murray said a day after an incredible comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins kept his team’s playoff hopes alive.
"My sister actually texted me and she was talking about the game (Tuesday) and she was asking me how I was feeling because she knows I had chemo yesterday," said Murray. "Well, you don’t sleep the night after you have chemo but I feel pretty good today because of the team. There’s no question."
One treads lightly when trying to make sense of hockey victories on the ice and a real-life battle with cancer off of it. You don’t what to trivialize what is such an emotional situation for the 72-year-old, life-long hockey man.
Watch as Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators are heroes tonight as their goals against the Pittsburgh Penguins to prolong the Senators season.
Full game highlights are below...
Dave Cameron, he will be appearing here all week!
On the morning of March 13, the Pittsburgh Penguins were 15 points clear of the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference standings.
Who would have possibly thought that less than a month later an encounter between the two clubs Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre would be deemed life or death for each?
-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on the big game tonight. More from LeBrun on Pens/Sens...
from Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun,
The Senators' "tragic number" is four, meaning any combination of their lost points or points gained by Boston, Detroit and Pittsburgh adding up to that digit kills their run.
The Senators, who lose all tiebreakers, need to either win out and hope that one of the above stumbles home at 1-2-0 or 1-1-1, or else take two-of-three and count on the Bruins, Red Wings or Penguins taking no more than one point from the final six that remain on each of their tables.
Naturally, Ottawa's best bet is to finish 3-0.
"We have to keep going, keep fighting," red-hot goalie Andrew Hammond said in the visitors dressing room at ACC. "There's three games left, one week left in the season, and it's up to us to get ourselves into the playoffs."
from Stephen Whyno of the CP at the Globe and Mail,
“We need to worry about ourselves, we can’t be scoreboard-watchers,” rookie 20-goal scorer Mark Stone said. “We just need to bear down, win our game on Tuesday and go forward from there.”
Karlsson said the Senators have been facing each game for the past several weeks as the most important of their season, and their upcoming showdown with the Penguins is no different.
“Same mentality,” Ottawa’s Norris Trophy candidate said. “They’re still a good team and they’re on the brink, as well, and they’re going to bring out their best. They’re a well-established team and we’ve got to play our best to have a chance to win.”
If the Senators lose to the Penguins in regulation, Pittsburgh clinches a playoff spot and Ottawa moves to the brink. Elimination could come as soon as Wednesday, depending on how the Red Wings and Bruins do.
Until it’s over, though, the Senators are confident about their chances heading into Tuesday.
from Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo,
Now after a dominant performance in Detroit – despite the tight result, the Senators outshot the Wings 34-17 – here is the situation: The Sens are three points behind the Bruins. They have a game in hand, but the Bruins have the tiebreaker with more wins in regulation and overtime.
Ottawa’s schedule down the stretch: Tampa Bay, Washington, at Toronto, Pittsburgh, at New York Rangers, at Philadelphia.
Boston’s schedule down the stretch: at Detroit, Toronto, at Washington, at Florida, at Tampa Bay.
“I think we can do it,” MacArthur said. “I have a good feeling about our team. We’re going to lay it on the line and see what happens. We made a great push. We shouldn’t even be in this position, and the guys stepped up. Obviously Hammy’s a big part of that.”
Obviously he is. Hammond, a.k.a. ‘The Hamburglar,’ has fans throwing McDonald’s onto the ice because he has come out of nowhere to go 15-1-1 with a 1.85 goals-against average, .938 save percentage and two shutouts. Two seasons ago, he was wrapping up a four-year career at Bowling Green State University. Last season, he played for the AHL’s Binghamton Senators – except for one 11-minute relief appearance with the big club. Now this.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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