Atlantic

Atlantic Playoff Bubble: Bruins vs Senators Fallout

Atlantic Playoff Bubble: Bruins vs Senators Fallout
Chris Wassel

Atlantic Bubble Fallout

Do not light the “mups” song now. So….

What happens now? Saturday features a 13-game slate with both the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators. These are desperate times now that Ottawa won 6-4 on Thursday night. It was a result that really had a bit of everything. Just when you thought one team had the advantage, the script flipped.

Yes the defenses were at times borderline AHL level, but the game was entertaining to say the least. Sometimes the unexpected really does come to the forefront. This game was all about outlasting the opponent and little else.

This game really had the feel more like an episode of “Survivor” than a hockey game. Do not get me wrong: this game was intense. It was just here and there that the moments of hockey were a little on the helter skelter side. From the opening faceoff, the game had a playoff feel that was more like an Ottawa-Pittsburgh game. The offenses were a couple steps ahead of both defenses in the early going. It was a theme that would last almost throughout the night.

This was far from a perfect or even at times good game but Ottawa got those needed two points.

It was a wild Wild Card battle. That cannot be emphasized enough. How often do you see Tuukka Rask that mad? Okay how often do you see him give up five goals? Exactly!

Even Boston touched up Andrew Hammond for four goals on 35 shots. There were two goals scored in the first minute. Certain defensive pairings were exploited like it was no one’s business.

From the puck drop, the adrenaline in the players took over. The Atlantic bubble was juiced to say the least. It did make for an entertaining game on High Definition TV.

 

From The Ottawa Side

Atlantic wise, things are looking up for Ottawa. Now the schedule is not easy. However, they are in the top-ten in three of the major four categories (Goals For, Goals Against, PP Percentage, PK Percentage). A good bit of this has to do with Hammond, who is now 12-0-1.

The streak is over of allowing two goals or less, but no one really cares about that. It is all about wins and the more wins Ottawa gets, the less comfortable Boston and maybe even the Washington Capitals will feel. Confidence is definitely buoying both the offensive and defensive side of things.

This is not going to be an easy schedule over the final dozen games. There are two games against the New York Rangers and Ottawa also has two stretches where they play four games in six nights. That is a pressed schedule for the one Atlantic team that looks most poised to challenge Boston for that final Wild Card spot. The next three games are at home but three of the last four games will be on the road. Needless to say, at some point, Ottawa is going to need a healthy Craig Anderson and that time will be soon at hand.

The team chasing has the harder time mostly and that is not a surprise. Now about Boston…

 

From The Boston Side

Boston’s schedule is actually worse in some ways. They have eleven games remaining and another two games on this road trip before a brutal three game road trip to end the season in Florida. They are in Florida right now. Familiarity breeds contempt and an angry opponent.

The Bruins will get David Krejci back, but their playoff bubble has more of a possibility of bursting than people think. Thursday night was that pivotal in the grand scheme of things. Boston is basically in a full on battle with Ottawa that will be full of scoreboard watching and much more.

There will be other parts of this Atlantic bubble that we will be following and from several different angles. Looks at shots per goal, goalie shots faced per goal, and many more statistics will be used in a different way of going over this three week sprint to the finish line err second season. This is going to be some race and may be one we study for the next several years and beyond.

Needless to say, here we go!

Atlantic
Chris Wassel
@ChrisWasselDFS

Never stop learning! That has always been my philosophy in life. It applies to hockey writing so well as new challenges are something to strive for. I have been a fantasy hockey writer way back when it wasn’t quite so cool, covered the Devils for a variety of places and still do, have a small hockey site of my own, and even write about all things NHL, AHL, ECHL, KHL, etc. Usually I am first asked who I don’t write for. For Today’s Slapshot, I will be covering the Atlantic Division.

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