This is always, always the worst week of the year for sports. The initial luster of Spring Training has worn off. Selection Sunday hasn't happened yet, so we don't have brackets to obsess over. There's plenty of kind-of-news that could or could not lend itself to mildly amusing posts, be it Felix Pie's twisted nether bits (gross), Billy Crystal suiting up for the Yankees (who gives a crap), or Dwayne Wade being out for the rest of the season (WAHHHHHHHH!). But, truth be told, I'm just not that INTERESTED in any of those stories (except for the D-Wade one, and that just makes me sad).
Instead, I think I'll spend the day practicing my Canadian accent in order to better hurl epithets at my television during the Bruins/Senators (that's Les Sénateurs d'Ottawa for you French speakers) game tonight.
Tonight's game, as with basically every game we have coming down the stretch, is A Big Deal. If we beat Ottawa, our point total will increase to 82; the Senators currently have 83 points on the season, while the division-leading Habs have 85. In other words, we're within striking distance of winning our division, which is probably more than the Leafs or Sabres (sorry, James) can say. However, given the highly competitive nature of the Atlantic division (the Devils have 86, the Penguins have 85, and the Rangers have 83) it could prove more difficult to actually win a 4-8 seed than to win our division. In other words: we need a friggin' win tonight.
Our last matchup against Ottawa on February 26 resulted in a 4-0 victory for us behind Tim Thomas' 22 saves and 2 goals from Zdeno Chara. Hopefully some of that sweet, sweet lovin' coming his way will help Thomas regain his magic in the goal tonight -- if he plays, since Coach Julien is playing his cards awfully close to his chest and not revealing who the starting netminder will be. No word yet on whether Chara, who missed Sunday's shootout loss to the Rangers with an upper torso injury (a broken heart?), will be back in action for tonight. I know many of you are simply dying of suspense, so rest assured: I'll check the updates after the B's morning skate at 11:30.
Update: Zdeno Chara will NOT be playing tonight. Marc Savard plans to score 7 first-period goals to make up for it. Alex Auld will be starting in goal.