Ranking all seven Canadian teams’ playoff hopes for next year

Carey Price and P.K. Subban. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

For shame, Great White North. For shame. A year after five of seven Canadian NHL teams booked tickets to the big playoff dance, 0.0 will participate in the post-season. Monday night’s results pretty much nailed the nation’s collective coffin shut. The Ottawa Senators would have to win their final six games, and the Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings would have to lose out aside from their remaining head-to-head matchup. So, yeah, Ottawa won’t pull off a miracle two years in a row.

It seems most fan bases and local pundits accepted that fate several weeks ago, however, as no Canadian squad was anywhere near a playoff berth. The Sens still sit 10 points back. It’s time to move on and start asking about next year. Which Canadian team, if any, has the most realistic odds of returning to the post-season in 2016-17? It’s time to rank their chances, from worst to best.

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Senators’ MacArthur done for season, says concussion made him think about retiring

Jared Clinton
Clarke MacArthur (Jana Chytilova/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators winger Clarke MacArthur hasn’t suited up since mid-October, and now he has officially been shutdown for the remainder of the campaign.

The Senators announced Monday that MacArthur, 30, will not play again this season even though he has finally passed concussion testing and would be medically cleared to return for any of Ottawa’s final contests. The decision, the Senators said in a statement, was made by management and team doctors, and it doesn’t come as much of a shock.

In an interview with the Ottawa Citizen’s Ken Warren, MacArthur opened up about his battle with concussions throughout this campaign, and admitted that thoughts of retirement entered his mind while he was trying to battle back.

“At one point in late November, early December, I was thinking I was done, maybe this is it,” MacArthur told Warren. “I had to get out of there. Every day you’re coming to the rink and you want to go on the ice. It’s like going to Disneyland. Everyone else goes on the rides and you’re outside the doors, watching.” Read more

Rumor Roundup: Senators will have off-season full of changes

Lyle Richardson
Mike Hoffman (Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk is never one to mince words about his team’s performance. With the Senators poised to miss the playoffs, Melnyk told reporters the club faces key changes in the off-season. “There’s no one that’s safe when you’ve had a year like we just did,” said Melnyk. “There’s just no way.”

Most of those changes could come in the front office and behind the bench. GM Bryan Murray is battling Stage 4 colon cancer and could step down this summer. Coach Dave Cameron could get his walking papers at the end of the regular season.

The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan and Bruce Garrioch put Boston Bruins bench boss Claude Julien at the top of their respective wish lists as Cameron’s replacement. However, there’s no indication out of Boston suggesting Julien could be available.

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Ducks punch post-season ticket, but know they need to be better

Corey Perry (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

If the Anaheim Ducks were a baseball team, they would have all been wearing swimming goggles and drowning each other in beer and champagne. Thankfully, though, hockey teams exhibit a little more restraint upon learning they’ve clinched a playoff spot.

The Ducks officially punched their ticket to the post-season Thursday night, but you’d have never known it by the by the mood in their dressing room after their 6-5 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was an eerily empty and quiet place, with captain Ryan Getzlaf left to explain how a very big team that fancies itself a legitimate Stanley Cup contender can lose two games to a couple of Eastern Conference bottom feeders and give up 10 goals in the process.

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The Hockey News Podcast: Episode 9 — chatting with Filip Forsberg about the Predators’ surge; who will get the No. 1 pick?

Filip Forsberg (Getty Images)

Welcome to Episode 9 of The Hockey News Podcast.

This week, we chat with Nashville Predators left winger Filip Forsberg to talk about his pursuit of the franchise record for goals, and his love Swedish fast food.

We also discuss the NHL’s tank battle and who will end up with the No. 1 pick in the draft, what’s wrong with the Blackhawks, and the first-round playoff matchups we most want to see.

Download and subscribe on iTunes, and on Soundcloud.

[Music: Metz-Headache; Quicksand-Omission]

Senators lose Dion Phaneuf to lower-body injury. What happens to their D-corps without him?

Matt Larkin
Dion Phaneuf. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators lost more than just their game against the Washington Capitals Tuesday night, as defenseman Dion Phaneuf went down with a lower-body injury.

It’s unclear at this time when and how Phaneuf got hurt, but the Senators announced via their Twitter account that he would not return. He played 16:28 before going down.

Ottawa beat writer and THN correspondent Bruce Garrioch reported the Sens “will have to call up a defenseman,” which doesn’t bode well for Phaneuf’s availability in the short term.

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Senators owner Melnyk says ‘no one’ safe after disappointing season

Jared Clinton
Eugene Melnyk (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators are seven points out of a playoff spot with nine games remaining in their season, and that type of performance is unacceptable, according to owner Eugene Melnyk.

Speaking with media Tuesday, Melnyk said there could be sweeping changes made to the organization in the off-season and that no one should get comfortable after the performance the Senators have turned in this season.

“There’s no one that’s safe when you have a year like we just did,” Melnyk said, via Sportsnet. “The status quo will just get us there again next year. This team cannot survive not making the playoffs. We have to do it by guts, we have to do it by hard work, and we can get there. That’s what we need to do.” Read more

Senators dine out on Canadiens power plays in shutout win

Daniel Nugent-Bowman
SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 10: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the Ottawa Senators celebrates his goal against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 10, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Ottawa Senators might want to consider playing with four skaters more often.

The Senators scored three shorthanded goals in a 5-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night. Given they only afforded the Canadiens with four power plays, that’s quite the clip.

Mark Stone set up Jean-Gabriel Pageau for the opening goal of the game at 12:02 of the first period. It was his NHL-leading sixth goal while shorthanded. Read more