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A Look At the Math: 1/29/10 January 29, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

A fairly light skate around the rinks on a Friday night, with half a dozen games to consider. All results are through early games Thursday night.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS. Game 1 of 4. New series. It feels a little strange typing that last when we’re only a couple of weeks from the Olympic break, but there it is. Toronto has recently fallen into the cellar of the magic numbers math in the East, and New Jersey is one of the top teams in the East–and playing at home to boot. A regulation loss by the Leafs would leave them only twenty points away from being mathematically eliminated from President’s Trophy consideration. That’s going to happen at some point, but I hope it’s not now–this Caps fan is hoping for a Maple Miracle, so that we can keep New Jersey behind us. On the other hand, a Devils win would also help the Caps, by bringing Toronto’s top line down ever closer to our current points total. And the Caps do have a six-point lead. Either way is good, I guess.

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS. Game 4 of 6. WSH has clinched series. Here, kitty, kitty! The Caps put their eight-game win streak on the line against the Panthers, who are 6-2-2 in their last ten and riding a two-game streak of their own. The Caps have won 19 of the 25 games played on District ice this year, and earlier this month erased a three-goal deficit at the Litter Box to win in a shootout. It’s a division rivalry, and the Caps have been bringing out the best–and, sometimes, the worst–in most of their opponents this year. The smallest magic number in play tonight is WSH +24 against Toronto for the 14 East spot. The Toronto game has better math, but this should be better hockey.

BOSTON BRUINS AT BUFFALO SABRES. Game 3 of 6. BOS leads by 3. The Sabres have been the team to beat in the Northeast this year, and the Bruins have been slumping as of late: they currently are on a 4 game losing streak. But these are two teams that flat-out hate each other, so you can pretty much throw the standings out the window for this one. The Bruins have a pretty good top-line score, as well, having played the fewest games of any team in the East. It’s not over in Beantown just yet. Smallest magic number on deck tonight is BUF +31 against Toronto for both 14 East and 4 Northeast.

ANAHEIM DUCKS AT TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING. Game 2 of 2. ANA leads by 1. The Ducks are hoping to bounce back after a 5-1 quack-up (sorry) crack-up on national TV in the District on Wednesday night. They beat the Bolts in OT out at the Pond earlier this season, and you have to think that they’d like to bounce back from that, and try to put the kibbosh on the two-game skid they’re on. Can they do it? Well, the Bolts are on a 3-game win streak, and they’re 14-6-5 at home–you tell me. Smallest magic number is ANA -33 against San Jose for the President’s Trophy, 1 Pacific, and 3 West. Series possibilities: ANA wins series with any win. ANA O: Series tied. TBL W: TBL win series.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS AT DETROIT RED WINGS. Game 3 of 6. NSH leads by 1. Forget the math on this one–the series is still well in play, and the magic numbers for these teams are unremarkable. Instead, think of this as a game between two division rivals who are right around the bubble, who are separated by two points, and who are both on a downward trend in their last ten. The math could double as a lullaby, but the hockey could double as a triple espresso.

COLORADO AVALANCHE AT DALLAS STARS. Game 3 of 4. COL leads by 4. The ‘Lanche were an early surprise this year, but fell off the radar for a bit before storming back into a heated race for the Northwest lead. Dallas, meanwhile, has to play 18 games out of 82 against the powerhouse Sharks, resurgent Kings, and upstart Coyotes. They’re in a position to contend down the stretch, but if they want to be a serious factor in the mix come March, this is the kind of team that they’re going to have to beat–ESPECIALLY at home. Smallest magic number is COL +34 against Edmonton for 14 West and 4 Northwest. Series possibility: COL would win series with any point.

Game tonight at the Phone Booth–see you all there.




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