Fuck you Ottawa. Aint nobody got time for you when a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins is in the not so distant future. Alas, the Bruins playing the Senators tonight is like the salad before the filet minon that is the Penguins, especially with Pittsburgh putting up 6 on the Islanders. But here we are, Boston is in Ottawa to take on the 6th place Senators.
If you look at the conference standings, the Northeast Division currently holds four (1, 4, 5, 6) of the eight playoff spots, which means the rest of the Eastern Conference should get on their level. It's pretty amazing to see, especially with Toronto holding the 5th spot looking for their first playoff berth since 2004.
It's tough to write a preview about the Ottawa Senators because there's not that much of a rivalry to get pissed off about. The Senators are like your little cousin who comes over and wants to hang out with you and your friends. He's not really doing anything wrong, but you just want him to leave you alone because he's annoying. The Senators are annoying.
At least we don't have to see Erik Karlsson pretend to play defense anymore. Oh wait, I already did this and some tool in Ottawa got upset at me, saying that Karlsson ALWAYS plays unreal defense - or some shit like that.
But Ottawa is hanging in there man. Milan Michalek came back from injury, which is good for them because the kid can light the lamp, but that's about it. Craig Anderson went from day-to-day the last time Boston played Ottawa to injured reserve...but it's not like that means anything. The Bruins have a knack for making Robin Lehner look like the second coming of Patrick Roy.
Even when Boston defeated Ottawa at the end of February, it took two weird fucking goals for it to happen. I'm not sure if backup goalies are hyped to be playing a team like Boston or if Boston plays down to the fact there's a backup goalie in net. Either way, the two times that Lehner has played Boston he was solid against them.
Expect Khudobin to be in net tonight as well - not because he's playing well (because he is) or Rask is playing poorly (because he's not) but with Pittsburgh tomorrow, you're more likely to see Rask in net then.
Ottawa is currently 27th overall in offense in the NHL, scoring 2.24 goals per game. The reason that they are so successful is because Craig Anderson leads the NHL in GAA and SV% (and is injured so that may be a little less than pomp and circumstance at this point) and the barely give up 2 goals a game (1.96 to be exact).
I'm not sure if that's because they have a good defensive system or because their goaltending is that good. Either way, Boston has been on a roll lately. You have to feel good going into this game seeing what they put together on Saturday against Philadelphia. From Thornton kicking the shit out of Rinaldo to Boston getting out to a 3-0 lead and not only holding it, but keeping Philly off of the scoreboard.
Load up and roll ouit.
After the jump, the rest of the preview...