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You Do the Math, 1/10/09 January 10, 2009

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.
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Lots of interesting stuff happened in the standings while I was out watching the Caps get shut out. At home. By a .500 hockey team. (Moi? Grumpy? Whatever gave you that impression?)

First, and most important. Carolina and Calgary are now doing the mathematical splits. That is, they both need the same number of points to clinch their respective 14 seeds as they do to be eliminated from President’s Trophy consideration. Rather than gunk up the grid with a two-way scenario, I’m going to list only POSITIVE Magic Numbers in the event of a mathematical tie. I’ll be adding that to the legend over on the grid page once I’m done here.

For the Caps, their loss to Columbus knocks them back to third because of their lower MPP (Max Points Possible) score. The Habs are lower in the standings, but have enough games in hand to have a very nice MPP. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to catch Boston or not, but they’ll make it interesting.

Speaking of Boston, they did take a very brief President’s Trophy lead on Thursday night, only to see the Sharks win last night and reclaim the lead. That race could actually be fun to watch, but I’m probably the only NHL fan who cares about it.

Pittsburgh just got passed by the Panthers. Last June, did anyone see THAT one coming? If I had predicted, after the Pens lost the Stanley Cup Finals last year, that they’d be fighting to stay ahead of the Panthers at the All-Star break, I don’t think anyone would have believed it. Not even ME.

It’s busy out West. For one thing, I had to shift a lot of rows around on the grid: there’s a lot of movement, up and down, for a lot of teams out West, almost on a daily basis. Also, look at how high up the Clinch 14W/Elim PT cutoff is compared to where that same cutoff is in the East. In the West, there are playoff-position teams who are closer to being eliminated from the top spot than they are to being assured of a top 14 spot. In the East, it’s the opposite: half the teams in the conference are closer to the top 14 than they are to getting bounced from the President’s Trophy race.

Wait, I get it–the New York Islanders aren’t playing out West. That explains everything. đŸ˜‰

Games to keep an eye on today:

Carolina at Boston. As a Caps fan, I want to see this settled in regulation, no matter who wins it. A Boston win would give the Caps a chance to extend their lead in the Southeast, but would also move the Bruins a bit further out of reach. A Carolina win would check Boston’s standings momentum, but would close the gap on the Capitals. If it’s a three-point game, I might end up with a bad case of autoalopecia (if you’ll excuse the really bad medical humor.)
Washington at Montreal. Can the Caps bounce back, on the road, against the Habs? A win by the Caps would put them back in 2nd place on the MPP standings, but a loss could find them fighting to stave off the Flyers.
San Jose at Vancouver. This one has President’s Trophy implications, as both the Bruins and Sharks are in action today. If San Jose wins, they hang on to the top spot. A San Jose loss coupled with a Boston win would complicate things considerably.

The Islanders and Blues are both off tonight, so that should make things a little easier when I do tomorrow’s update.

CAPITAL SPIRIT
MY, THESE NUMBERS ARE CRUNCHY

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