Skip to content

Sizzling Senators shut down Bruins, spawn some bold questions

Feb 28, 2012, 11:11 PM EST

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. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Viva Las Vegas?

    Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 PM EST

    LasVegasHockey

    The waters are being tested with a ticket drive.

  2. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: The NHL gets the mumps

    Dec 25, 2014, 9:00 PM EST

    crosbyface

    Sidney Crosby and Corey Perry are just two of the players that have been inflicted by the NHL outbreak.

  3. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Slava Voynov’s domestic assault case

    Dec 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EST

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpte3nju0ywnmnjbkytrlmwjlmtu4mgixnzhhmdlhzme5 AP

    And the NHL’s swift, significant response.

  4. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Another Leafs collapse ushers in analytics era

    Dec 25, 2014, 7:00 PM EST

    Leafs practice Getty Images

    2014 was another painful year, but was it also one of progress?

  5. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: St. Louis forces his way out of Tampa Bay

    Dec 25, 2014, 6:00 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Getty Images

    The perfect storm that led to a shocking trade deadline captains swap between two teams looking to make serious playoff runs.

  6. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Ovechkin’s great big year of disappointment

    Dec 25, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    A major letdown in Sochi, followed by the Caps missing the playoffs.

  7. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canada dominates en route to Olympic gold

    Dec 25, 2014, 4:00 PM EST

    Carey Price Carey Price

    One of the best performances in international hockey history.

  8. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Quinn, Beliveau pass away

    Dec 25, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Jean Beliveau AP

    Hockey mourned the loss of two of its most respected individuals.

  9. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Canucks and Flames brawl, followed by Torts losing his mind

    Dec 25, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    It wasn’t the reason he was fired, but it sure was memorable.

  10. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Teemu Selanne retires

    Dec 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    After 22 years, the Finnish Flash called it a day.

  11. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Winter Classic at the Big House

    Dec 25, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    Over 105,000 descended on Ann Arbor for an unforgettable experience.

  12. PHT’s top 14 of ’14: Oshie’s shootout mastery in Sochi

    Dec 25, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    Sochi Olympics Ice Hockey Men AP

    Even a disappointing Olympic finish can’t erase a star-making moment.

  13. Poile moves to second on all-time GM wins list

    Dec 24, 2014, 8:59 PM EST

    David Poile AP

    Only Glen Sather is ahead of him.

  14. Overtime/shootout drama becoming the norm in Florida

    Dec 24, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    Roberto Luongo Getty Images

    “It’s like a little miracle down here.”

  15. Scoring change gives Nash his first Rangers hat trick

    Dec 24, 2014, 6:40 PM EST

    Nash goal

    The goal was initially credited to Martin St. Louis.

  16. Hextall impressed by Zepp, but cautious when predicting his future

    Dec 24, 2014, 5:54 PM EST

    Rob Zepp Getty Images

    Will he eventually earn a full-time NHL roster spot?

  17. Lightning returns top goalie prospect Vasilevskiy to AHL

    Dec 24, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    Andrei Vasilevskiy Getty Images

    His stint with the Lightning was brief, but memorable.

Featured video

Holiday wish lists for NHL teams
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (2617)
  2. C. Perry (2138)
  3. B. Elliott (2127)
  4. S. Crosby (2124)
  5. J. Howard (1875)
  1. S. Varlamov (1785)
  2. S. Weiss (1754)
  3. J. Schwartz (1584)
  4. J. Neal (1481)
  5. S. Mason (1471)