That was Logan Couture after last night’s loss in Ottawa, sounding a lot like a guy on a team with a 0.9 percent chance of making the playoffs.
“We’re not good enough right now to compete against good teams in the NHL,” Couture said, per CSN Bay Area. “It’s disappointing. We’re a better team, I think, than what we’ve shown in the last couple months.
“Every night we go out there, we just haven’t been good enough on a consistent basis. It’s so disappointing because we believe in this room that we’ve got a good enough group of guys to make a push and to compete past the regular season. Consistently, we just don’t get the job done.”
Now eight points back of the Calgary Flames for third place in the Pacific Division, the Sharks could feasibly go 9-0-0 in their final nine games and still miss the playoffs.
And let’s face it, the way this team is playing, it’s not going 9-0-0.
At this point, it appears the only thing the Sharks may have to look forward to is a game against the Kings on the final day of the regular season, with possibly a chance to keep their California rivals — the ones who embarrassed them so badly last April — from playing in the postseason as well.
Back in mid-February, Ottawa required nothing short of a miraculous run to get back into the playoff race. Enter 27-year-old rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond. He’s reversed the course of the team to the point where they are actually in possession of a Wild Card spot after earning a 5-2 victory against San Jose Monday night.
San Jose’s Joe Pavelski and Chris Tierney did managed to score just 30 seconds apart in the second period, but that’s all Hammond allowed in his 29-save effort. Ottawa did the rest courtesy of a third period rally with Senators forwards Mika Zibanejad and Bobby Ryan leading the charge.
Zibanejad netted Ottawa’s first two goals of the game while Ryan was credited with three assists, including the 200th of his career.
Starting with Hammond’s first start on Feb. 18, the Senators have gone on a 15-1-1 run. The sole regulation loss came during one of Craig Anderson’s two starts during that stretch. Coupled with the Bruins dropping five straight games, Ottawa now has a one-point edge over Boston in the battle for the second Wild Card seed. On top of that the Senators have played in one less game.
The stakes will be very high for the Bruins on Thursday when they take on the Anaheim Ducks.
For the Senators, as big as tonight was, there might also be a somber note to it. Although Hammond played the full 60 minutes, he suffered an ankle injury that required treatment after the contest, per the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch. Zibanejad also blocked a shot with his arm but said he’s okay.
Mika Zibanejad had an unusual way of getting the Ottawa Senators on the board first in a key game against the San Jose Sharks tonight. He managed to get the puck past goaltender Antti Niemi by knocking it forward with his knee.
The league reviewed the goal to see if there was a kicking motion, but ultimately ruled that it was a legal redirect and the marker consequently stood.
You can see that below:
It was Zibanejad’s 18th goal of the season and it also extended his point streak to four contests. It’s worth noting that Ottawa has a 22-11-7 record when scoring first, which might sound great, but it’s actually one of the worst winning percentage in the league under those circumstances.
With a win tonight, the Senators would overtake Boston as the holder of the second Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, San Jose is seeking two points to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.