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Spezza admits ‘picture is not looking good’ for Sens’ playoff chances

Mar 17, 2014, 10:51 AM EDT

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After a rough weekend in which they only managed to secure one point from two games, the Ottawa Senators know their playoff outlook appears grim.

Just ask the captain.

“The picture is not looking good right now,” Jason Spezza said, per the Ottawa Citizen. “So we can’t look at it.”

Ottawa came into this weekend essentially needing all four points, but saw those hopes dashed after blowing a 4-1 lead over Montreal with less than four minutes remaining on Saturday — eventually losing in OT — then losing against Colorado on Sunday despite outshooting the Avs 39-22.

As such, the Sens are now in serious danger of missing the postseason for just the third time in the last 17 seasons — and missing would be a major disappointment. Losing long-serving captain Daniel Alfredsson to free agency in the summer was a potential foreshadow for struggle, and the team looked shaky out of the gate by going just 10-11-4 over its first 25 games of the season.

That said, Ottawa did rally to go into the Olympic break in reasonably good shape — 26-22-11 — and ID’d itself as a buyer at the trade deadline, sending a pair of picks to Edmonton in exchange for Ales Hemsky.

Looking ahead, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of reaction owner Eugene Melnyk will receive should the Sens miss the playoffs. He’s been highly-criticized throughout the year for both how the Alfredsson situation played out, and the club’s internal salary cap — Ottawa is operating at around $56 million, and part of the Hemsky deal was contingent upon Edmonton picking up some of his salary.

That review might be a bit premature, though, because it’s not like the Sens are throwing in the towel on this season just yet.

“We’ve got to win games,” Spezza said. “We’ve got 15 games left. We’re not going to throw in the towel right now. We’ve still got to play the games. We’re frustrated with this weekend, especially because we knew it was an important weekend.

“But we’ve got 15 games left. Let’s see if we can put something together here. I’ve seen it done before.”

  1. spezzdispenser - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    Typical captain response, but they’re not gonna make it. They’d have to go 15-0 to even have a chance of making it and they definitely don’t have it in them. See you next year, fellas.

  2. imgoingtowichita - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I would imagine that the owner would be as upset as the 13 other ones in which their team failed to make the playoffs.
    Playoff revenue is a bonus for any team and the playoffs enable the team to leverage renewals.

  3. joey4id - Mar 17, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It would take a complete collapse of the teams ahead of them battling for a playoff spot and they would need to go on a tear that would allow them to accumulate 24 to 26 pts. Safe to start booking their golf trips and tee times.

  4. laethyn - Mar 18, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Correct, Spezza. That’s what happens when you blow a multi point lead with just a couple of minutes left to play, then lose in OT.

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