Despite low expectations coming into this season, the Senators have shown their mettle in the first half. Behind the play of captain Daniel Alfredsson and leading scorer Jason Spezza, they trail Boston by only four points in the standings for the Northeast Division lead. If the Bruins continue the slide they were in before All-Star weekend, the Sens could very well take the lead.
The question is: Does it matter? The Bruins won the Northeast Division last season en route to the Stanley Cup, but how big of a focus should the team put on capturing a division crown this year? The B’s have shown that they are a contender once again and one could make the argument that they shouldn’t kill themselves trying to lock up a top seed when all they really need is to get into the playoffs.
That’s not to say it isn’t important to have home ice for the postseason, but the B’s captured the Cup away from the TD Garden last year so they’ve shown they can buckle down in hostile territory.