With 11 games to go in the NHL season and the Ottawa Senators sitting in 6th place, it feels strange to already be using the term "must win".
But this evening's game against the Florida Panthers certainly has that feel to it. The Sens have dropped three straight coming into tonight and have watched the teams behind them gain ground. Paul MacLean and his group need to get the ship righted against the Panthers in Sunrise tonight.
After another frustrating loss, the Senators find themselves sliding down a slippery slope. With 11 games left in the NHL season, Ottawa likely needs to find some combination of eight points. Or ten to be safe.
Prior to this recent three game slide, that would have seemed like an easy task for a team that was playing so well. But on the heels of one of their most disappointing performances of the season, the Sens need to get things turned around in a hurry.
Now that the NHL Trade Deadline has finally passed, all the rumours and speculation can finally be put to bed.
With only 12 games left in the NHL season, these are your Ottawa Senators. Of course with the likes of Craig Anderson, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen and hopefully all Jason Spezza left to return to the line up, the biggest additions could be still to come. The stretch drive to the NHL playoffs begins tonight in Buffalo.
The Ottawa Senators have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Cory Conacher and a 4th round draft pick.
Bishop has been rock solid in the Ottawa goal this season but with Anderson close to a return and Robin Lehner showing he is ready to make the jump to the NHL, this was a move Bryan Murray could afford to make.
(UPDATE 12:32 PM)- It's quiet. Obviously. But the good news is people I have spoken with today still feel as though the Sens will make a trade before the day is out. With so many teams showing a real interest in Bishop, it would be surprising if he didn't move before 3:00 PM. 2.5 hours to go...
The Senators incredible run of bad luck against Boston continued on Tuesday night, as they fell to the Bruins for the fourth time this season and 13th time in the last 14 head to head match ups.
Colin Greening and Andre Benoit scored goals for Ottawa and Robin Lehner was his usual rock solid self but it wasn't good enough, as Anton Khudobin and the Boston Bruins held on for a 3-2 win. The Sens now sit six points behind Boston and slip into 6th in the Eastern Conference with loss.
There is no team that has owned the Ottawa Senators quite like the Boston Bruins have over the last few seasons.
And while the Sens have made it competitive in the three meetings this year, they’ve still won just one game against the Bruins in the last 13 match ups. Paul MacLean and his team will be looking to end that ugly stretch as they kick off a seven game road trip tonight at the TD Garden in Boston.
With the NHL Trade Deadline now just 24 hours away, things continue to be fairly quiet around the Ottawa Senators.
While Ben Bishop's name continues to pop up in the rumour mill, Sens GM Bryan Murray is no hurry to move one of his goalies, particularly with the status of Craig Anderson still up in the air. With that said, the Senators will certainly make some calls and listen to any and all offers over the next 24 hours.
It certainly wasn't the way the Ottawa Senators wanted to close out their five game stay at Scotiabank Place.
Despite an ugly 4-0 loss at the hands of the rival Leafs, the Senators racked up 6 of a possible 10 points on the homestand and now hit the road for seven straight as the Women's World Hockey Championships takes over the rink in Kanata for the next two weeks.
With some excellent drafting, some smart trades for young players and some great work in general within the organization to develop from within, the Senators now find themselves with one of the deepest and strongest prospect pools in the NHL.
And while it's a nice problem to have, there will be some tough decisions to make in the next few years in terms of players needing new contracts. Needless to say, things can change dramatically through trades, injuries or if a player suddenly hits the wall, but here's how the next few seasons look as of now in terms of potential renewals. (source for all contract info: Capgeek.com)