You really gotta hand it to the Winnipeg Jets and their fans.
The Senators had them on the ropes a number of times in this hockey game and the Jets refused to quit. This loss likely ends their playoff hopes but I can't say enough good things about the fight this team showed and the energy provided by their fans. This was hands down, the most entertaining Senators game of the season.
In case you needed any more convincing that Erik Karlsson should be the favourite for the Norris Trophy, Karlsson turned it up a notch in a crucial game. The 21 year old logged over 25 minutes of ice time, picked up three assists to bring his season point total to 76 and was an impressive +5. Analysts (like Darren Pang) may point to the odd defensive miscue but the fact is Karlsson is the best defenceman in the league this year.
Give him the damn Norris Trophy.
Also really liked the game of Jason Spezza tonight. He took a couple penalties and was able to channel that frustration into one of the nicest assists you'll see all season. Spezza, who had been battling the flu the last week or so, now has 81 points on the year and seems to be ramping his game up down the stretch.
Wouldn't be fair to not at least mention the highlight reel goal by Kaspars Daugavins. Terrific patience, a slick dangle to the middle of the ice and a great finish for his 5th of the year. He really stepped up his game after that goal too and his line with Smith and Condra was excellent in the third period.
And what can you say about Daniel Alfredsson?
The guy just gets it done when it matters. Plain and simple. After what appeared to be a deflating and questionable goal by Evander Kane, it was the Captain that stepped up when his team needed him most. His 26th of the season sucked the life out of the MTS Centre and was exactly the response the Senators needed.
With tonight's win, the Sens give themselves a four point cushion over the Sabres and Capitals. Those two teams play each other tomorrow night.
Bruins 91 (7)- TBL, WSH, @Nyi, @Nyr, PIT, @Ott, BUF
Panthers 87 (7)- @Mtl, @Min, @Clb, @Det, WPG, @Wsh, CAR
Devils 90 (6)- CHI, TBL, @Car, NYI, @Det, OTT
Senators 88 (5)- @Phi, @Nyi, CAR, BOS, @Nj
Capitals 84 (6)- BUF, @Bos, MTL, @Tbl, FLA, @Nyr
Sabres 84 (6)- @Wsh, PIT, @Tor, TOR, @Phi, @Bos