Atlantic Division Weekly: The poor, poor Ottawa Senators

Chris Tierney’s team can’t catch a break.

Every week we focus on the teams that are doing well in the Atlantic Division. I would like to take a moment of silence this week for Chris Tierney and the Ottawa Senators. Sure, it worked out for San Jose Sharks fans this week, when Team Teal had a field day against them, but otherwise, we have to have some sympathy for Erik Karlsson’s former club. They are just straight up not having a good time right now.

That and more on this week’s check in on our friends on the East Coast.

Boston Bruins (10-7-0)

The Bruins had a bit of a tough week. It started out strong with a 5-2 victory over Martin Jones and the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Things quickly went downhill for the B’s, however, when they fell 4-0 to the Calgary Flames at home the next day. The only thing we ask of these Atlantic teams is to beat the Pacific teams. When they fail us, it’s disappointing.

Boston regained their composure, traveling to upstate New York to beat division rival Buffalo Sabres 5-1 in a game that saw goals from Patrice Bergeron, Charlie Coyle, David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly. They wrapped their week up against the New York Rangers, losing 5-2 at home.

Things got heated in that game, when Brad Marchand allegedly used xenophobic taunts against Artemi Panarin, resulting in the Rangers forward throwing his glove at Marchand across the two benches. Both players were given a game misconduct.

Buffalo Sabres (8-10-2)

The Sabres had a busy week and it didn’t go great for them. It got off to a rough start on Sunday, as they fell 5-4 to the Rangers. It only got worse when they returned home the next night just for the Columbus Blue Jackets to beat them 7-4. That one had to hurt!

It stayed tough for the Sabres before it got better. The injury bug continues to make its way through the Sabres’ roster, as Drake Caggiula is week-to-week with an upper body injury and was announced out ahead of Boston’s visit. The Bruins beat them 5-1 and Buffalo defender Zemus Girgensons was ejected after boarding Bruins defender Charlie McAvoy.

However, the team was able to end the week on a high note. They beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. Cody Eakin and Kyle Okposo each had one goal, while Tage Thompson netted a double.

Detroit Red Wings (9-9-3)

The Red Wings only played two games this week and one of them was a loss against the struggling Arizona Coyotes. The Red Wings fell 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. The Coyotes are doing the best that they can to tank, but the rookie-filled Red Wings were showing some exhaustion.

Detroit pulled it together and won their second and final game of the week. It was a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues, so we applaud them for that one. Alex Nedeljkovic made an impressive 35 saves between the pipes.

Florida Panthers (14-3-3)

The Panthers are still sitting pretty at the top of the Atlantic Division. They had a pretty good week, too. It started with a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. Frank Vatrano scored a pair of goals, while Sam Bennett, Owen Trippett, and Carter Verhaeghe each found the back of the net once. Guess who had an assist in this game? Jumbo Joe Thornton, of course.

The Panthers won their next game as well. They took down the Flyers with a 2-1 win in overtime. Unfortunately, their week wrapped up on a sad note. They lost 4-3 to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

Aleksander Barkov, the Panthers’ top-line center, will not be ready to return for at least another week, if not two. But the Big Cats have invested in their depth, and it should keep them afloat while he recovers from injury.

Montreal Canadiens (5-15-2)

The Canadiens started their week off on a high note, with a rare 6-3 victory over the Nashville Predators. Although Nashville's Matt Duchene netted a hat trick, the Canadiens reigned supreme. Ryan Poehling had a pair of goals, while Tyler Toffoli, Artturi Lehkonen, and Christian Dvorak got on the board with a goal each.

The rest of the week, however, was more similar to the Habs’ usual behavior this season. They lost 6-3 to the Capitals on Wednesday and 4-1 to the Sabres on Friday. It’s not easy being the Canadiens this season. Something has to change soon.

Ottawa Senators (4-13-1)

Oh, the Ottawa Senators. Where do we even begin? Their week started with a 7-5 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, the first game back from the team’s COVID pause. At least they were within fighting distance in that game, right? Zach Sanford scored a hat trick, which is cool I guess. Josh Norris and Artem Zub also found the back of the net.

I’m sure you are all happy to recall their next game: the Sharks stomped them, 6-3. Good times for Sharks fans, bad times for the Senators. They ended the week with a 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Someone help them!

If they’re looking for a savior, it definitely won’t be goaltender Matt Murray, who was waived by the Senators on Friday. The 27-year-old who once led the 2016 Pittsburgh Penguins to the Stanley Cup hasn’t registered a win yet this season, appearing in six games, with an .890 save percentage. Murray signed a four-year, $6.25 million annual contract with the Senators in October 2020, and a modified no-trade clause kicked in this season.

Tampa Bay Lightning (12-4-3)

The Lightning had fun this week. Sure, it started with a 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils at home on Saturday, where the team lost Brayden Point to an upper-body injured sustained when he was tripped on a breakaway and crashed hard into the boards. Surprisingly, it got better from there. They defeated the Wild 5-4 in a shoot-out on Sunday. Anthony Cirelli had a pair of goals, while Alex Barre-Boulet, Patrick Maroon and Steven Stamkos also got on the board.

The Bolts went on to beat the Flyers 4-0 on Tuesday, with netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy making 34 saves between the pipes. They finished off both the week and the homestand with a 3-0 victory over the new guys in town, the Seattle Kraken, giving Vasilevskiy his 200th regular season win. Forward Yanni Gourde, who was lost to the Kraken in the Expansion Draft, was given his 2021 Stanley Cup ring while the team was in town.

Toronto Maple Leafs (14-6-1)

Unfortunately, the Maple Leafs are good again. However, their week started with a 2-0 loss to the Penguins on Saturday. They got their groove back by Sunday, mounting an easy 3-0 victory over the struggling New York Islanders. Mitch Marner had a pair of goals, while Ondrej Kase added one of his own.

The Leafs did the Sharks a favor by beating the Los Angeles Kings 6-2 on Wednesday. It was a real team effort, with goals from Michael Bunting, Pierre Engvall, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Alexander Kerfoot and Jason Spezza. As for the final game of the week, we’re just going to pretend like that never happened and wish the team the worst as they wrap up the California swing against the Ducks on Sunday.

Toronto is starting to lean on rookie goaltender Joseph Woll, who got his second and third ever NHL starts this week against the Islanders and Sharks. The 23-year-old has posted an impressive .939 save percentage and 1.67 goals against average in three games so far.