I think tonight's game will be huge in setting the tone for the rest of the season.
Obviously the two games against Toronto and Montreal mean more in the standings, being "4-point games" against our rivals for the remaining playoff spots. But I predict that we will know how the season will play out after this first Ottawa game.
With our team coming off such an emotional game in Toronto, they can react in one of two ways. Either they strengthen their resolve to play up to their capabilities and eliminate the mistakes that cost them last week's game ... or they let their doubts overtake them, lose the psychological battle, and repeat past mistakes.
If they win convincingly tonight, I see them regaining their confidence, re-establishing the momentum they had with the 4-game win streak, and going 3-1 or even 4-0 these last 4 games, likely winning first place. In this scenario, there is no reason to think anyone in the East could beat us in the playoffs.
If they lose tonight (regardless of whether it's by 1 point or 30 points), as much as I hate to say it, I see them getting into a funk and finishing perhaps 1-3 in the final 4 games, and likely missing the playoffs altogether.