Senators Embracing Villain Role In Showdown Against Rangers

Marvin Azrak
April 15, 2024  (7:26 PM)

Ottawa Senators enforcer Zack Ostapchuk skates during a game.
Photo credit: ST Albert Gazette

The Ottawa Senators are embracing the role of the villain for their season finale. They invade MSG tonight for their season finale against the NHL-leading New York Rangers. For the Blueshirts, a win clinches the Metropolitan Division, top seed in the Eastern Conference, and the Presidents Trophy. Any type of loss and they'll go from having home ice advantage throughout the playoffs, to just that luxury for a single round, looking up at the white-hot Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division.

Long Island native and childhood Islanders fan, Ottawa Senators Shane Pinto understands the assignment, and task at hand.
My buddies have been texting me — kind of giving it to me, so I'm hoping we find a way here and get the win and ruin their President's Trophy. Hopefully we can be the spoiler tonight. If you can't get going in this rink, I think you have a proble. There's nothing like playing here and I think all the boys will be juiced up tonight and ready to go.

But the Senators aren't just relying on mind games. They've brought up enforcer Zack Ostapchuk from the AHL to add some muscle to the lineup. According to reports, Ostapchuk's call-up is a direct response to Rangers fighter Matt Rempe. These two have a history of dropping the gloves in juniors, so the Sens are sending a clear message: they won't tolerate any liberties being taken on their guys tonight.
When asked about Rempe's presence, Pinto brushed it off with a smirk.
Uhh, no. We got a guy named Boko, who's a pretty strong guy (chuckles), so I don't know what's going to happen tonight, but we got guys that are protecting us. I don't think we're thinking too much about that going into the game. That would be a good tilt though
Meanwhile, Sens fans aren't too thrilled about Ostapchuk's call-up, seeing him as a top forward prospect. But Rangers reporter Kyle Hall isn't buying into the hype.
Sens fans are mad about this one! Apparently, this Zack Ostapchuk is the second coming of Jason Spezza. Couldn't tell from his 28 AHL points this season.

So, with tensions running high and stakes even higher, all eyes are on Madison Square Garden tonight. It's gonna be must-see TV. I personally am excited for puck drop, as a Rangers fan. Tonight feels like game 0 of the playoffs if that makes sense.
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Senators Embracing Villain Role In Showdown Against Rangers

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