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A Look at the Math: 1/30/10 January 30, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

It’s Hockey Day in Canada, and Hockey Weekend across America. Too bad I’m snowed in, or I might have gone to see the American/Minnesota-Duluth alumni game. As is, I’m worried Metro’s going to shut everything down, so I’m sort of stuck in Silver Spring. (And Metro’s still raising our fares, but I’m not going there, lest this turn into an all-out rant.)

Speaking of rants, I have one that’s hockey-related. Mike Green gets kneed by Dmitry Kulikov, and they’re scraping him off the ice with a putty knife. He’s out for the game, Kulikov doesn’t even get a minor, and the CAPITALS end up in the sin bin for standing up for their fallen teammate. Now, to add insult to injury, Green’s getting suspended for three games for elbowing, when the guy he hit (Frolik) barely missed a shift. What. The. Hell?

Anyway, on to the NHL contests…

NEW YORK ISLANDERS AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS. Game 4 of 6. PHI leads by 6. The Islanders have yet to beat the Flyers this year, and could lose the season series unless they win this one. In regulation. In Philadelphia. Riiiiight. Lots of luck, New York. Smallest magic number is NYI -30 against San Jose for the President’s Trophy. Series possibility: PHI can win with any point.

MONTREAL CANADIENS AT OTTAWA SENATORS, EH? Game 5 of 6. OTT leads by 4. Same situation here as Flyers-Islanders, only one less game in the series for Montreal to have to run if they want to win their way to a series tie. It’s Hockey Day in Canada, so this one’s sure to be a good one. Those of you in the US with NHL Network, tune in–this should be a treat. Smallest magic number is MTL -30 against San Jose. Series possibility: OTT can win with any point.

LOS ANGELES KINGS AT BOSTON BRUINS. Game 2 of 2. LAK lead by 1. Math here isn’t anything to write home about: LAK +33 against Edmonton is the smallest number in play. Series possibility: LAK win series with any win. LAK O: Series tied. BOS W: BOS wins series.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS AT TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS, EH? Game 2 of 2. Vancouver leads by 2. More Hockey Day in Canada action here, as the Canucks head to the ACC. Here’s one of the better games to watch if you’re into math geekery (something I never was until I discovered hockey–go figure.) TOR -20 against SJS is the number of the night in the East, and a Vancouver win would help a lot of teams. Vancouver has a way to go before anything’s decided. Series possibility: TOR must win in regulation to tie series, or VAN wins.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS AT CAROLINA HURRICANES. Game 1 of 1. One of the best teams in the West takes on one of the worst in the East, with the Western Conference lead on the line. Stranger upsets have happened, though. CHI +20 against Edmonton is the smallest number coming in.

COLUMBUS BLUEJACKETS AT ST LOUIS BLUES. Game 4 of 6. CBJ lead by 2. Season series is very much in play here. Smallest number is CBJ -24 against San Jose.

ATLANTA THRASHERS AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS. Game 1 of 2. New series. ATL is -35 against San Jose, and that’s the smallest number in this game. Yawn. Next?

NEW YORK RANGERS AT PHOENIX COYOTES. Game 2 of 2. NYR lead by 2. Smallest number here is PHX +31 against Edmonton, so the math won’t exactly double as an IV of caffeine. Series possibility: PHX must win in regulation to tie, or NYR win series.

EDMONTON OILERS AT CALGARY FLAMES, EH? Game 6 of 6. CGY has clinched series. The Battle of Alberta is always good for hockey, and tonight, it’s got the most intriguing math of all ten games. A loss by the Oilers would send magic numbers down all across the Western Conference, and would leave Edmonton a scant 17 points away from President’s Trophy elimination.

MINNESOTA WILD AT SAN JOSE SHARKS. Game 2 of 4. SJS lead by 2. And here’s another one which could please my calculator. The Sharks are playing to hang on to the Western Conference lead, and Minnesota is nobody’s idea of a Western powerhouse this season. SJS is +19 against active Edmonton, so this could potentially be down to 15 by the time the final horn sounds tonight.

All in all, some intriguing math around the rinks tonight. Nothing of the 8-spot variety–nobody’s going to get relegated to the golf course tonight, and nobody’s punching their playoff ticket–but we are going to get a lot closer to some of the first C’s and E’s of the 2010 playoffs.




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