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Methot: It's do or die

Wednesday, 24.04.2013 / 3:16 PM
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog
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Inside the Senate Blog
Methot: It\'s do or die



They sure know how to keep things interesting, don't they?

No less than three times this season have the Sens been written off as dead in the water. Jason Spezza goes down? Can't score, they're done. Erik Karlsson gets hurt? Now it's definitely over. Craig Anderson is out? Print the lottery balls.

Yet, here we are with three games to play and the Sens are among those in the running for the final two playoff spots, and in the driver's seat to get one of those spots no less.

The Sens could clinch a playoff spot on Thursday night with a win as 54 points would ensure Winnipeg couldn't catch them in the Eastern Conference. After that it would be a matter of where they travel to for round one.

Marc Methot has only had the chance to play postseason hockey once in his seven year NHL career, but the significance of the timing isn't lost on him or his teammates. Win and you're in.

"It's do or die time, it'll be a big game for us," said Methot on Thursday's game in Washington.

There is plenty of reason for optimism in Ottawa surrounding that matchup. The Sens played one of their best games of the season last Thursday and took a 3-1 victory at Scotiabank Place over the Capitals. That performance coupled with personnel making their way back into the fold give the team reason to believe they match up well against Washington. That being said, there are still things that can be improved.

"With Cowen back all three of our pairings can handle what Washington has," said Methot. "We need to be stronger at the offensive blueline. We've been turning the puck over too much."

The defensive strength added by Jared Cowen's return is certainly an encouraging sign and could improve even further come puck drop on Thursday. With rumblings that Erik Karlsson is in the running to return to the lineup in Washington, the Sens would be greatly bolstered in every phase of the game.

"He may be the best defenceman in the world," said Methot. "I hope he's out there if he's 100 per cent."

Regardless of whether or not the Sens will have 65 in the lineup, much of playoff hockey is hitting your stride at the right time. Knocking out a couple of crucial wins late in the year could go a long way if they put themselves in round one.


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06