With the series getting deeper into action, there are teams that are beginning to find themselves in do or die situations. Last night the Flames put the Canucks on the brink of elimination, taking them down to take the 3-1 series lead. There are a couple of series that are staring at sweeps with both of them possibly occurring tonight. In Winnipeg, the Jets were happy to be back in the playoffs after a long awaited journey, but they may not be around very long to enjoy much of it. The Jets might even end the year with the same amount of games that they came into the playoffs with, which of course would be no additional wins if they win tonight. As a fan, if my team doesn’t even win a playoff game I don’t see any enjoyment in making it to begin with. If this were the Leafs there would just be more head shaking if they got swept. But lets backtrack for a second, it takes four games to win a series, and the Ducks nor the Canadiens are there yet. Coming back from three games down would be a big mountain to climb against two of the leagues best.
We’ll see what way I’m leaning tonight in the Senators/Canadiens series tonight, as the Habs look to stick a fork in the Sens. It was a nice run by the Senators to even be in the playoffs. They went on a torrid pace, which is an accomplishment in its own right. Although, the party is looking like it is getting to be cut short at the hands of a rival down the highway. Some people, mostly Sens’ fans I argue, had faith that goaltender Andrew Hammond, the Hamburglar, could take them far in the playoffs. There have been goalies in the past that were able to turn on the magic and carry their team this time of the year, but Hammond didn’t even make it to game 3. Craig Anderson got the nod there and played well, but a weak goal in OT ultimately ended his chances at turning the series around. So the Sens are now in a position where they are juggling their goalies with game 4 on the horizon. On the opposite end of the ice, Carey Price is sitting pretty and has the Canadiens thinking Stanley Cup in 2015.
Montreal Canadiens @ Ottawa Senators
A sweep of the Senators would definitely have visions of the Stanley Cup in the dreams of Canadien fans. As they are playing now, there is no reason to believe that they can’t be that team. The only reason I can note is that they are from Canada, and it seems whenever there is a team that is playing the savior role for Canada, they always fall flat. Playing in these markets, the pressure does build up and I’m sure there is some correlation in that respect. Montreal if of course one of the biggest hockey markets in all of hockey. Price has looked calm and collected without any signs of regression, so maybe it won’t faze him. I will say this though, while the Sens are on the brink of elimination, they are giving the Habs a battle. All of the Canadien wins have been by a goal, so if the Canadiens sweep this will be one of the most competitive sweeps of all time. As I always say, however, the great teams win the close games, and others find a way to lose them.
The Senators have to be downright exhausted. They played their hearts out and left it all on the table to make it to the playoffs, and now they have given the Canadiens a series despite down 3-0 in the series. Now they need to find some more energy to prolong this series against the Canadiens. I don’t now if they are up for it. That overtime loss in game 3 had to cripple them. They win that and they’re right back in it. Lose and they have to win four straight games. I’m going to look for the sweep and back the Canadiens tonight and be the first team to move on to the second round of the NHL playoffs.
PICK: CANADIENS TO WIN +100 5DIMES – BEST ODDS