Just one week ago, it looked like the Ottawa Senators were in a tail spin.
They were wrapping up the road trip from hell with what looked like a fifth straight loss. “The Senators are who we thought they were” the experts mumbled. And then, in an instant, the season was saved. Dramatic, maybe, but it felt that way at the time.? Ottawa rallied for a 4-3 win that night in Philadelphia and in the process, started to right the ship.
Two nights later they turned in their best effort of the season against the New York Rangers. Two days after that they steamrolled Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks. Three straight wins and suddenly, signs of life.
The Senators will look to keep that rolling as they kick-off a crucial home and home set against the Montreal Canadiens.? The opener goes tonight at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Big games? You better believe it. In fact, tonight is THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE YEAR.
The Bell Centre is often referred to as one of the best venues in the entire National Hockey League. And having been there on multiple occasions, I can confirm that it’s mostly garbage. It’s loud but the noise is clearly pumped in through the speakers. The atmosphere is terrific if glorified soccer chants are your thing. The beer is cold but they only have Molson Ex. And the hot dogs are legendary but usually colder than the beer.
But see the worst thing about the Bell Centre is it’s just full of Habs fans. Yuck.
Still, one of my favourite sounds in all of sports originates in the Bell Centre. And it’s that sound of 20,000 Hab lovers being silenced by an opposition goal. Score a couple quick ones and you’ll hear the second best sound and that’s the low grumble of 20,000 diehard Hab fans gradually starting to turn on their team.? Here’s hoping we hear lots of that tonight.
Goes without saying but these next two games are huge for both teams.
As it currently stands, the top three teams in the Atlantic are pulling away a little bit. And that makes the battle for those two Wild Card spots that much more important.? The Canadiens currently hold a slim two point lead over the Senators in the standings making these four point games especially valuable. They play again in mid-December too.
Guy Boucher met with the media yesterday and by the sounds of things, will roll with the same line up as Saturday against the Sharks. Max Lajoie is still out and Mark Borowiecki is at least a week away and maybe longer.
Game day skate is at 11:30 AM so we’ll confirm the line up then. A damn good guess for now.
Craig Anderson gets the start for Ottawa. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:30 PM or closer to 9:00 PM if the Habs have a pregame ceremony to honour Patrice Brisebois or some shit.
The game is available on TSN5, RDS and ooooo TSN2. If streaming games illegally is your thing, I know a guy who knows a guy.
Hey look, a HEAD2HEAD table!