Friday, March 12, 2010

Morning playoff check-up and game report

The Canadiens eked out a 5-4 shootout win over a very bad Edmonton Oilers team on Thursday night, one so bad that it could not take full advantage of a clear off night for Jaroslav Hala specifically and the entire team in general.

The Oilers had the 28th ranked penalty killing unit in the league, while the Habs were second. But it looked like those rankings were reversed on this night as Montreal refused to shoot the puck on a goaltender that would have trouble excelling in the minors. Why? I'm not too sure, but it might have something to do with chronic over-passing and always looking for the perfect play just because the Oilers made it seem like it was available. One case in point was Montreal's 5-on-3 advantage very early in the third period of a tie game where the Habs managed a single shot on goal. One shot. That just shouldn't happen.

In any case, even though they did not particularly deserve it, the Canadiens got a big two points on a night where they got a lot of help in the evening's other games. The Flyers lost 5-1 to the Bruins, allowing Montreal to pull even with Philly with 74 points, though the Habs have still played three more games. Boston remains two points behind Montreal with the same three games in hand.

The Atlanta Thrashers continued their downward spiral with a 2-1 loss to lowly Columbus, making it three losses in a row. They're now eight points behind Montreal, while 10th place Tampa is also eight back after losing 4-3 in overtime to the Leafs. 

The Rangers, idle last night, visit the Thrashers in the Morning Playoff Check-up Marquee Match-up. These are two teams playing some pretty horrendous hockey who could use a win to swing momentum their way. I sense a three-point game here.

Philadelphia Flyers – Sixth place, 35-27-4, 74 points
Last night: 5-1 loss to Boston
Next game: v. Chicago Saturday
16 games remaining, 7 against teams in playoff spot
Home (7) – Chi March 13, Atl March 21, Min March 25, NJ March 28, Mtl Apr 2, Det April 4, NYR April 11
Road (9) – NYR Mar 14, Nash March 16, Dal March 18, Atl March 20, Ott March 23, Pgh March 27, NYI April 1, Tor April 6, NYR April 9

Montreal Canadiens – Seventh place, 34-29-6, 74 points
Last night – 5-4 shootout win over Edmonton
Next game: v. Boston Saturday
13 games remaining, 6 against teams in playoff spot
Home (7) – Bos March 13, Ott March 22, Fla March 25, NJ March 27, Car March 31, Buf April 3, Tor April 10
Road (6) – NYR March 16, Tor March 20, Buf March 24, Pha April 2, NYI April 6, Car April 8

Boston Bruins – Eighth place, 30-24-12, 72 points
Last night: 5-1 win over Philadelphia
Next game: @ Montreal Saturday
16 games remaining, 9 against teams in playoff spot
Home (8) – Pgh March 18, NYR March 21, TB March 25, Cgy March 27, Buf March 29, Fla April 1, Buf April 8, Car April 10 
Road (8) – Mtl March 13, NJ March 15, Car March 16, Atl March 23, NJ March 30, Tor April 3, Was April 5, Was April 11

New York Rangers – Ninth place, 29-29-9, 67 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: @ Atlanta tonight
15 games remaining, 7 against teams in playoff spot
Home (6) – Pha March 14, Mtl March 16, StL March 18, NYI March 24, Tor April 7, Pha April 9
Road (9) – Atl March 12, Bos March 21, NJ March 25, Tor March 27, NYI March 30, TB April 2, Fla April 3, Buf April 6, Pha April 11

Atlanta Thrashers – 10th place, 28-28-10, 66 points
Last night: 2-1 loss to Columbus
Next game: v. New York Rangers tonight
16 games remaining, 11 against teams in playoff spot
Home (10) – NYR March 12, Phx March 15, Buf March 16, Ott March 18, Pha March 20, Bos March 23, Tor March 25, Car March 29, NJ April 6, Pgh April 10
Road (6) – Pha March 21, Car March 27, Tor March 30, Was April 1, Pgh April 3, Was April 9

Tampa Bay Lightning – 11th place, 27-27-12, 66 points
Last night – 4-3 OT loss to Toronto
Next game – @ Washington tonight
16 games remaining, 9 against teams in playoff spot
Home (9) – Pgh March 14, Phx March 16, Buf March 18, Was March 20, Car March 23, NYR April 2, Car April 6, Ott April 8, Fla April 10
Road (7) – Was March 12, Fla March 21, Bos March 25, Buf March 27, CBJ March 30, Pgh March 31, Fla April 11

1 comment:

Olivier said...

Rangers aren't dead yet, but I think we can stick a fork in the Lightning and Thrashers. As for the blueshirts, well, they have an interesting week-end; Atlanta tonight and Philly sunday, with the flyers having played the blackhawks saturday.

If we can find find a way to coax a win out of the Bruins (in regulation would be even nicer), this could get even more interesting very quickly.

This may not be a very good team, but they sure are fighting to the finish. Good thing, that.