Thursday, March 11, 2010

Morning playoff check-up

There was only one game that is relevant here last night, and the Devils did the Habs a big favour by spanking the Rangers 6-3, dealing a pretty severe blow to the Blueshirts playoff hopes. They still have a game in hand on Montreal, but sit five points back. The Rangers host the Habs next Tuesday, but by then it may very well be too late to call it a four-point game. The Bruins have a three-point lead on New York, yet hold two games in hand. A lot of people are writing off Boston because of losing Marc Savard, probably for the rest of the season, but the non-suspension of Matt Cooke yesterday could be just the rallying cry that team needs. I’d watch out for them in the next few days.

The first team that needs to do that is the Flyers, as they face the Bruins on home ice in tonight’s Morning Playoff Check-up Marquee Match-up (I capitalized that for effect, I haven’t trademarked it. Yet.) Though Philly has come out of the break with three wins in five games, they haven’t exactly been playing world-beaters. Those five games were against Tampa, Florida, Buffalo, Toronto and the Islanders. Really, that should be four wins, but Philly only got three. Let’s see what happens when they face a team with a chip on its shoulder and an emotional reason to win.

Three more teams on the board play tonight and they are all trap games against teams that are out of it. The Habs face the NHL’s worst team tonight in the Edmonton Oilers. Major trap game, especially after a leisurely day off. Atlanta is in Columbus, though I’m not sure that qualifies because the Thrashers have no reason to feel over-confident after getting thumped by Tampa and Carolina on the weekend and losing a squeaker to Nashville. Finally, Tampa is in Toronto, and if the Lightning play the same brain-dead game they did in Montreal the other night, they’ll probably lose that one as well.

Philadelphia Flyers – Sixth place, 35-26-4, 74 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: v. Boston tonight
17 games remaining, 7 against teams in playoff spot
Home (8) – Bos March 11, 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, 33-29-6, 72 points
Last night – Did not play
Next game: v. Edmonton tonight
14 games remaining, 6 against teams in playoff spot
Home (8) – Edm March 11, 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, 29-24-12, 70 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: @ Philadelphia on tonight
17 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 (9) – Pha March 11, 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: 6-3 loss to New Jersey
Next game: @ Atlanta Friday
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, 28-27-10, 66 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: @ Columbus on tonight
17 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 (7) – CBJ March 11, Pha March 21, Car March 27, Tor March 30, Was April 1, Pgh April 3, Was April 9

Tampa Bay Lightning – 11th place, 27-27-11, 65 points
Last night – Did not play
Next game – @ Toronto tonight
17 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 (8) – Tor March 11, Was March 12, Fla March 21, Bos March 25, Buf March 27, CBJ March 30, Pgh March 31, Fla April 11

No comments: