Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Morning playoff check-up

The Canadiens got a good measure of relief last night, with both the Bruins and Thrashers losing. Being caught by the Thrashers at this point, four points back with six to play, would be a meltdown of monumental proportions. Atlanta plays Pittsburgh twice and Washington twice in its final five games, and aside from the possibility the Caps may rest some key players toward the end, I don’t give the Thrashers a great chance to pull out more than two points from those four games. Even if they were to beat Toronto and New Jersey – definitely not a given – that would give them 84 points with 36 wins. Montreal would need to win only one of its final six to qualify for the playoffs. Further back, the Rangers have 76 points and play five of their final seven on the road, though the competition is a little less than stellar. But so are the Rangers. If they lose four of their final seven, Montreal could lose out and still finish ahead of them.

Boston’s loss drops them to one game in hand on Montreal which will be made up tonight when they face the Devils in New Jersey. They are likely more worried about Atlanta, who play Toronto tonight, than they are Montreal.

The Senators play the Capitals tonight in Washington, but Ottawa is quickly becoming irrelevant to Montreal’s playoff position. A win tonight would all but cement their inability to be caught by either Montreal or Philadelphia. But consider that this team, in a span of 34 games since Jan 5, has had a five-game losing streak, an 11-game winning streak, a three-game losing streak, a five-game losing streak and a four-game winning streak. So really, anything is possible.

Ottawa Senators – Fifth place, 41-30-5, 87 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: @ Washington tonight
6 games remaining, 2 against teams in playoff spot
Home (2) –Car April 1, Buf April 10
Road (4) –Was March 30, NYI April 3, Fla April 6, TB April 8

Philadelphia Flyers – Sixth place, 38-32-6, 82 points
Last night: Did not play
Next game: @ NYI Thursday
6 games remaining, 2 against teams in playoff spot
Home (3) – Mtl Apr 2, Det April 4, NYR April 11
Road (3) – NYI April 1, Tor April 6, NYR April 9

Montreal Canadiens – Seventh place, 37-31-8, 82 points
Last night – Did not play
Next game: v. Carolina Wednesday
6 games remaining, 2 against teams in playoff spot
Home (3) – Car March 31, Buf April 3, Tor April 10
Road (3) – Pha April 2, NYI April 6, Car April 8

Boston Bruins – Eighth place, 34-29-12, 80 points
Last night: 3-2 loss to Buffalo
Next game: @ New Jersey tonight
7 games remaining, 4 against teams in playoff spot
Home (3) – Fla April 1, Buf April 8, Car April 10 
Road (4) – NJ March 30, Tor April 3, Was April 5, Was April 11

Atlanta Thrashers – Ninth place, 33-30-12, 78 points
Last night: 4-1 loss to Carolina
Next game: v Toronto tonight
6 games remaining, 5 against teams in playoff spot
Home (3) – NJ April 6, Pgh April 10
Road (4) – Tor March 30, Was April 1, Pgh April 3, Was April 9

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A stat to keep in mind for these upcoming Eastern Conference playoffs, the three teams who have given up the most goals of the eight current playoff teams are Washington, Pittsburgh and Ottawa. And goaltending and defense has been known to win Stanley Cups.