The Week Ahead: The "I was told there'd be no math" edition

by Joe Boughner and Mike Wheeler

God. Damn. Toronto. God. Damn. Maple. God. Damn. Leafs. The Wings and Pens opened the door and rather than bust through it like some bad ass vigilante, all swagger and steel toes, the Sens sort of timidly tapped at it then pushed it gingerly open to see if it was safe to come in. They didn't not go through the door but they didn't really go through it either. They're sort of standing awkwardly in the doorway like a pizza guy waiting there awkwardly while you go to look for your wallet.

So here we sit. Two back of three teams with three games to go. The Senators need some help. Sens fans need help. And while we here at RBM can't do much about the former (short of standing outside David Cameron's house yelling "PLAY HOFFMAN IN THE TOP SIX YOU DUMB BASTARD!") we can help with the latter.

Cause there ain't no ointment to soothe your aching heart like a weekly preview.

Last week's record

  • 3-0-1

This week's matchups

  • Tuesday vs Pittsburgh (must-win)
  • Thursday @ New York Rangers (really must-win)
  • Saturday @ Philadelphia (really ultra must-win, not even joking)

Storylines to watch

Easy-to-read chart that shows exactly what the Sens need to do to make the playoffs.

So much math...

Many of you are too young to remember Square One. No, not the shining jewel in the crown of Mississauga's fledgling shopping district. Square One was a kids' show back in the day and it featured a recurring segment called Mathnet. A parody of the detective show Dragnet that you're absolutely too young to remember, Mathnet made math cool for a generation of kids by showing it as a badass crime fighting tool instead of a much-maligned school subject that dragged down my GPA in grade 11 and kept me off the Honour Roll for the first time in my entire academic career.


Anyway, if you're a Senators fan there's a lot of math happening right now. And since Square One went off the air in 1992, we here at RBM have no idea how to make sense of it. But rest assured, the Sens aren't out of it yet. They're not in it either, mind you, but they're not out of it.

And why?

This team, you guys, this team

The 2014-15 Senators are, basically, Steven Seagal. They are really, really hard to kill. Also, they make questionable hair decisions. But mostly they're hard to kill. Sure, it will take a minor miracle for the Sens to make it into the post season. Compared to what they had to do to even get into this position though? It's nothing. Say the Sens beat the Pens in regulation Tuesday. Is it feasible that Sid and Co. would then take an OT loss against the Islanders or Sabres? Maybe!

A cynic might say there's no such thing as a limitless supply of magical pixie dust. An even more cynical cynic might point out that pixie dust isn't even a thing. But there's something about this Ottawa team, you guys. The run might ultimately come up short but if there's any team that can make this happen it's going to be this one. They might be under siege. They might be on deadly ground. They might even be marked for death. But if I had to make an executive decision, I'd say they at least do their part and run the table.

So let's just accept this as fact

No matter what happens, no matter how the cards are dealt this week, Senators fans will be sitting around Saturday night flipping the channels trying to watch three games at once to see if the Sens did enough to make it in. Because the schedule maker hates us, the Senators actually wrap up their season four or so hours before the other three teams that are currently in the wild card mix and you just know this one's going to the wire. The Senators will skate off the ice in Philly with their playoff hopes hanging in the balance. You just know it.

So whatever you've got planned for Saturday night, cancel it (unless that plan already involves watching hockey, of course). Order a pizza, put the kids to bed early and pour yourself a stiff drink. You'll be cheering for the Hurricanes, Sabres and/or Lightning that night and at least two of those teams aren't the sort you'd usually be putting your money down for.

Parting shots

  • Statline of the week: 1,434 tweets/minute citing reasons Karlsson shouldn't win the Norris 
  • Imagined Sun headline of the week:  Miracle on Broad Street!
  • What Sens fans will be complaining about on Twitter: Math, obviously

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