Playoffs possible in Ottawa, Edmonton

Updated: October 31, 2011, 10:03 AM ET
By Craig Custance

On Oct. 13, the Ottawa Senators were blown out by the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 7-1. Two games later, the Flyers crushed the Senators 7-2 in a performance that seemed to foreshadow a long season in Ottawa. The young Senators could have done two things at that point: (1) dig in for a long rebuild in which you accept those losses as part of the process, or (2) learn from them.

They learned. They haven't lost since the Flyers blowout, posting six straight wins.

This weekend, Ottawa was among a group of teams that made a statement about what we should expect from them this season. The Senators battled back from a 4-1 deficit to beat the Rangers in the shootout on Saturday. Then they capped it with a win over Toronto on Sunday after surrendering an early lead to the Leafs.

"We just keep plugging away," said Senators forward Jason Spezza. "There's no real explanation for it other than we're continuing to work hard and not giving up."

They weren't alone this weekend. The Edmonton Oilers beat the Avs on Friday and the St. Louis Blues on Sunday to extend their win streak to five games. They sit atop the Western Conference with 16 points. Yes, the Edmonton Oilers.