Skip to content

Sizzling Senators shut down Bruins, spawn some bold questions

Feb 28, 2012, 11:11 PM EDT

senshug Getty Images

Erik Karlsson might not have the defensive acumen to please people who cringe at the points-centric Norris Trophy voting, but his scoring ability is making the Ottawa Senators an intriguing sleeper in the East.

Karlsson’s power-play goal was the only marker as the Senators beat the Northeast Division-leading (and defending champion) Boston Bruins at their own game 1-0.

Well, either that or their promising backup goalie won a significant duel with Tim Thomas. Nope, it wasn’t recently acquired netminder Ben Bishop; instead, Robin Lehner made a compelling argument for his NHL-readiness by stopping all 32 Bruins shots. Thomas was brilliant in making 37 out of 38 saves, but Ottawa beat the B’s in Boston to make a statement.

Either that, or they raised some questions.

1. Circling back to Karlsson, is his resounding offensive production reason enough to make him deserve the Norris? Normally I’m in that embittered hockey nerd group in regard to that trophy’s voting, but one could argue that he’s essentially the most valuable defenseman in the NHL because of his offense.*

2. Does Ottawa have a decent chance to steal the Northeast title from Boston?

Rather than going too deep on this question, I’ll merely present you with some crucial points.

  • The Bruins are currently ahead of the Senators points-wise 77-76.
  • Boston also has a fairly massive games in hand advantage, with four more games remaining (21 to 17) than Ottawa.
  • On the other hand, the Senators are streaking up (two wins in a row; 7-2-1 in their last 10) while the Bruins are bumbling a bit (4-5-1 in last 10).
  • The Bruins have 10 home games and 11 road games left.
  • The Senators have nine home games and eight road games remaining.
  • Both teams actually possess remarkably balanced win-loss records on the road vs. at home, which means that games remaining and streaks are probably the biggest factors.
  • Well, except for tie-breaker considerations, perhaps. The Bruins have 37 wins to Ottawa’s 34 and 30 regulation/OT wins to the Senators’ 29.

Looking at that information, it would take a serious run (and/or significant Boston struggles) for Ottawa to shock the hockey world by winning its division. Still, it’s pretty amazing that such a question would need to be examined with March just a breath away.

* – The Norris Trophy isn’t defined as the MVP of the blueliners, but the point must be made.

Latest Posts
  1. Avs’ Landeskog underwent wrist surgery

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:30 AM EDT

    Gabriel Landeskog Getty Images

    He declined an invite to the Worlds because of the injury.

  2. Jagr to play at World Championship

    Apr 25, 2015, 10:45 AM EDT

    Jaromir Jagr AP

    He announced his retirement from international competition nearly a year ago.

  3. Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:28 AM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    St. Louis couldn’t capitalize on an early lead.

  4. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Pittsburgh and Ottawa need to win to survive.

  5. Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:24 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    He didn’t get a point in the first round.

  6. Video: Prust sparks melee by spearing goalie Anderson

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Prust, Anderson

    Senators coach Dave Cameron called it “cheap” and a sign of frustration.

  7. It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpta0ntizmjbjndy3yti3nwe0nwfhnwy3odfjn2u2mwrm AP

    Evgeni Malkin finished the series without a point.

  8. Video: Tarasenko continues unreal run with sixth goal on nine shots

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT

    Vladimir Tarasenko

    Alexander Steen played a big role in that marker.

  9. Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    The odds of him playing were initially “50-50.”

  10. Video: Spaling gets unusual goal as puck bounces off arm

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:59 PM EDT

    Spaling goal

    That tied Game 5 between Pittsburgh and the Rangers at 1-1.

  11. Video: Ryan snaps 16-game goal scoring slump

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryan goal

    is that the start of a breakout for him?

  12. Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Carey Price Getty Images

    The Canadiens goaltender looks like the heavy favorite.

  13. Bettman doesn’t want to give Isles fans ‘hope’ of return to Nassau County

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Capitals Getty Images

    “Lots of possibilities have been thrown out about an arena for the last decade and none of them have materialized.”

  14. Chicago to start Darling in Game 6

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five

    After allowing four goals in a Game 5 loss to Nashville.

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2731)
  2. S. Weber (2350)
  3. K. Letang (2319)
  4. M. Fisher (2168)
  5. A. Burrows (2106)
  1. C. Ehrhoff (1951)
  2. S. Crosby (1877)
  3. M. Giordano (1792)
  4. T. Hamonic (1774)
  5. D. Carcillo (1737)