It’s been a franchise defining nine games for the Belleville Senators who return home this week on a nine-game point streak.
The Senators, who have gone 6-0-0-3 over the streak, sit just five points behind Utica and Toronto in the North Division playoff race. Its also put the Senators over the .500 mark for the first time with the team currently sitting on a 24-23-2-3 record.
“It’s just consistency from us,” Sens captain Erik Burgdoerfer said. “Obviously, our first line is really clicking, as has our power play, but up and down the line-up we’ve been clicking and haven’t been giving up a ton against and our goaltenders have been playing well.
“It’s going to take the same effort every night and we have to be consistent in our effort and I think things will continue to happen.”
Part of the Sens’ spark over the past nine games has been the play of the team’s first line of Drake Batherson, Logan Brown and Nick Paul who have combined for 28 points over their last four games, all of which were wins. Batherson is currently riding a nine-game point streak while Brown has points in his last eight.
“I think Drake and I were playing pretty good hockey and then we got put together and it seemed like it started clicking,” Brown said. “As soon as Nick came down that’s a huge addition for our team and especially our line as he opens up so much space. It’s three big guys who can all move the puck and score goals so it’s been a lot of fun.”
The stakes continue to climb for Belleville over the homestand with four divisional contests starting with Syracuse Wednesday, a back-to-back with Cleveland and a Family Day matinee with the Laval Rocket Monday.
Belleville is 14-8-0-1 at CAA Arena this season and with four games in six days at home, it presents another opportunity to build on their recent successes.
“This homestand is huge for us,” Burgdoerfer said. “It’ll be a good test for us. We’ve got to keep our foot down on the gas here because there’s still some work to do and we’ve got to keep digging out of our hole.”
With 24 games left in the regular season, the Senators still have to make a push. But one thing’s for certain, they’ve put themselves in a position to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
“We’ve said all along we need to go on a bit of a heater,” Brown said. “We were a few points back and we’ve closed the gap the last couple of weeks.
“We’re confident in our group and if we keep playing our game and doing the things we’ve been doing, things will continue to turn around for us.”