With the likelihood that the Bruins will meet the Senators in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, tonight’s game will be all about setting tones and sending messages. And with Claude Julien stating that Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and Patrice Bergeron would remain in Boston rather than travel to Ottawa to take on the Sens, the sad realization that the only messages that Thomas will be sending have to come courtesy of his Facebook wall. (And it deprives fans from printing off these Obama masks and wearing them to the game.)
I suppose that by now, we should be accustomed to Thomas missing scheduled team events but this is a little bit different. In giving his players the game off because the Bruins have second place in the Eastern Conference sewn up, Julien wants to avoid having what happened to Johnny Boychuck last night to any of his key personnel. With only one week to go before the start of the postseason, of course you can’t fault him for wanting to control the circumstances and keep his best players healthy.
Unfortunately for Ottawa, this same luxury wasn’t afforded to the inordinate number of pugnacious shits that litter the Bruins’ roster. While Paul MacLean confirmed a Ben Bishop start between the pipes, it remains to be seen whether he will follow suit and shelter his best players from the possibility of injury as well.
Thanks to the combination of a New Jersey victory and a Sens loss on Tuesday night, Ottawa can only slide in the standings. Should the Washington Capitals win their two remaining games and the Sens lose their last two games, Ottawa they can drop into eighth place. So with that being said, aside from the personal accomplishments and statistical pursuits of a few particular players who will garner NHL award consideration, for the collective, there’s little incentive for dressing all of the regulars, especially when a potential playoff opponent will do its best to target and soften up the likes of Karlsson, Alfredsson and Spezza. Besides, it could also serve an ample opportunity to get Bobby Butler back into the lineup. With one assist in five games versus the Bruins this season, relative to what he’s done this season, I believe that he has torched them.
Ben Blood Signs Pro Contract
One week after collegiate defenceman Chris Wideman inked his first professional contract, University of North Dakota senior Ben Blood has signed a contract with the Senators and will join Wideman on the blue line in Binghamton.
It’s almost a shame that the Baby Sens will not make the playoffs this season. It deprives us from another post-game lineup handshake moment.
Original Senators Founders to Be Inducted Into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame
Yesterday, the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame announced that Bruce Firestone, Cyril Leeder, Randy Sexton and Rod Bryden would be inducted into their shrine on June 6th. Congratulations to these deserving individuals.