Time to get antsy as Senators lose another game and another D
April 2, 2017, 7:30 AM ET [6 Comments]
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Forget the Colin White watch, because the way things are going it will be the Thomas Chabot watch before too long.
It would be an extreme step to call up the Saint John Sea Dogs defenseman up on an emergency basis during what could be a Memorial Cup run, but the Senators are running out of options quickly on the blue line.
Already without their top pair of Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot, second pair defenseman Cody Ceci left the game Saturday night against the Jets with a leg injury that will at minimum keep him out of Monday's game in Detroit. The good news is that there is the possibility that Karlsson could make the trip from Ottawa to Detroit earlier than expected, otherwise it could be someone like Ben Harpur or Andreas Englund summoned from Binghamton to fill the hole left by Ceci. Chabot, who had a league leading 10 points in the Sea Dogs' first round sweep might be more ideal and intriguing, but that would be a stretch.
Oh yeah, and the injuries couldn't come at a worse time as the playoff race is closing in on them quickly. The Senators fell 3-2 to the Jets, while the Bruins and Maple Leafs both picked up victories and the Lightning a loser point. They are now tied with the Leafs (who hold the ROW tiebreaker) and are just a point up on the Bruins in a race that could see them fall into the second wild card spot if Boston can beat Chicago today. Ottawa holds a 5 point advantage on the Bolts with 5 games to go, so that lead should be safe but Ottawa is on a slide and getting key injuries at a bad time. The key game might be Thursday's matchup against the Bruins, who they hold two games in hand over. Before other than that game, they have two sets of back to backs, Monday and Tuesday against Detroit in a home and home, and then next Saturday and Sunday in Manhattan and Brooklyn respectively.
Mike Hoffman scored twice for the Senators, but it wasn't enough as Mike Condon allowed 3 goals and Ottawa has lost any physicality they had demonstrated in previous games before this slide. They are not a tough team to play against at the moment and although the effort was marginally better than it was on Thursday in Minnesota, it still wasn't nearly enough. Ottawa held the lead two different times, and both times the Jets rallied back and finally took the lead for good near the midway point of the third on a goal from the slot by Mathieu Perreault.
The Senators have needed a standout goalie performance at some point on this road trip, which is now four games (and four losses) old, and they haven't gotten it yet from either Craig Anderson or Condon. You could argue that at least two of the three goals that Condon allowed were of the questionable variety, and without Karlsson and the others the margin for error is non-existent for the Senators.
So, it is not quite time for panic but there is certainly an uneasy feeling as the Sens enter their final week of the season on a terrible slide on and off the ice. A return of Karlsson, even if not 100%, would go a long way to stemming the tide against a Wings team that is simply not very good but won't roll over for the Senators in this upcoming home and home set.