Well if it was not already a clear choice, the confirmation that the Ottawa Senators will not have the services of Dominik Hasek for the playoffs makes it a pretty clear choice who the Canadiens want in the playoffs.
As expected, Hasek’s injury is not healed and the veteran netminder is unable to play. Ray Emery has been a questionable goalie all year long. If he hadn’t been playing for the Senators to begin with his numbers would be far worse and maybe not even have a job in the NHL. The Senators with Hasek and the Senators with Emery are two very different teams. The Sens are also known choke artists in the playoffs.
No one thinks it’ll be easy but with the Canadiens playing the way they can and a stroke of luck – the Senators are definitely beatable.
Not to mention the Canadiens have defeated the Senators several time this year where Carolina has dominated the Habs. Ottawa is a division rival and happens to be just a couple hours West and would make for great atmosphere and maybe a new bitter rivlary from here on.
How do the Canadiens assure that matchup? Well they can’t guarantee it but there are numerous possibilities.
A win against New Jersey will keep the Habs in seventh spot and they’ll have to hope Carolina wins or loses in overtime to assure themselves first place.
- A loss against New Jersey combined with a Tampa win and an Ottawa win combined with a Carolina loss.
- A loss by Ottawa, Carolina, Montreal and Tampa Bay.
Getting confused? There’s too many possibilites that could occur.
If things fall into place it will be Montreal and Ottawa starting as early as Friday night.