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A Look at the Math, 3/4/10 March 4, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Nine games around the NHL tonight. A little bit of everything on tap tonight: some Original Six rivalry, a little bit of Atlantic animosity, a Southeast showdown, some boutin’ time in Mountain Time, and of all things, le bleu blanc et rouge paying a visit to…the teal. I will highlight the Caps game at the end, the rest is straight off the NHL schedule in order.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT BOSTON BRUINS. Game 4 of 6. BOS leads by 2. Another chapter in one of the most historic rivalries in hockey will be written tonight. You have to like Boston on this one, as the Leafs appear to have finally figured out that they really do need to rebuild. I would expect the Bruins to lay it on thick tonight in front of their fans. TOR is -10 against NJD for 2 East.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AT NEW YORK RANGERS. Game 6 of 6. Off game; PIT has clinched series. The tuxedoed terrors play the bad guys on Broadway tonight, as two bitter Atlantic rivals exchange some parting shots. I’d keep my eyes peeled if Chris Drury or Ryan Callahan were on the ice at the same time as Sidney Crosby. Rangers fans who were pulling for Team USA last Sunday might get a bit rowdy if one of those guys knocked Crosby into next week (or even next July, for that matter.) Quirky math of the night: PIT is +11 against TOR for 14 East, and -24 against WSH for President’s Trophy and 1 East. Meanwhile, NYR are +24 against TOR for 14 East, and -11 against WSH for President’s Trophy and 1 East.

OTTAWA SENATORS AT CAROLINA HURRICANES. Game 3 of 4. Series is currently tied. The Sens have the best record in the Northeast, while the Canes have the worst record in the Southeast. The Hurricanes are evidently opting for a rebuild: with all due respect to Brian Pothier, I’m still amazed at the Corvo deal. The Canes will likely have the draft position to rebuild in a hurry. So Capitals fans need to enjoy the last month of an easy division, because it won’t be this easy next year. CAR is -5 against WSH for President’s Trophy, 1 Southeast, and 3 East.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS AT ATLANTA THRASHERS. Game 4 of 4. Off game; NYI have clinched series. The Thrashers are right in the middle of the playoff hunt, while the Islanders are going to need a lot of wins, and a lot of help, to get a playoff invite. This isn’t a game I’d be likely to watch in November. But in March, with a lot of playoff implications in play, this one might just turn into a scintillating game. NYI are -6 against WSH for President’s Trophy and 1 East.

LOS ANGELES KINGS AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS. Game 2 of 4. NSH leads by 2. And no, that’s not a typo. Back in November, the game with the Kings was Nashville’s only victory in a three-game, six-day tour of the Golden State. (They notched a 3-1 victory at St. Louis on the way home.) For the Kings, this series is currently their worst: they only trail two other series, and those only by one point apiece. So perhaps Los Angeles will come into the Music City with designs on squaring the series. More importantly, however, is this…
PLAYOFF CLINCH KINGS: Can clinch 14 West with any win.
PLAYOFF ELIMINATION OILERS: Would be eliminated from 3 West with a LAK win.

ST LOUIS BLUES AT DALLAS STARS. Game 3 of 4. DAL leads by 1. I’m going to go completely overboard on the old-school vibe by dropping a Tomorrow People reference here: anyone remember The Blue and the Green? Anyway, Missouri and Texas are better rivals on the college scene, so that comparison doesn’t even hold. Cam Janssen will be watching from the press box after sucker-punching Matt Bradley before the Olympics, and I’m sure Steve Ott will be breathing a bit easier as he looks down the Blues’ roster for tonight (one less tough guy, don’t you know.) STL is -13 against WSH for President’s Trophy.
SERIES: DAL can clinch series with a regulation win.

COLORADO AVALANCHE AT PHOENIX COYOTES. Game 3 of 4. COL leads by 4. Two of the more surprising Western contenders duel in the desert, with the ‘Lanche looking to put the series away. There could be a lot of new faces on the ice in Glendale, as Deadline day had the ‘Yotes about as busy as a cranberry merchant in November. PHX is +3 against EDM for 14 West.

MONTREAL CANADIENS AT SAN JOSE SHARKS. Game 1 of 1. Montreal has a .500 record on the road, so swimming in the Shark Tank may or may not turn out so well. San Jose has cooled off a bit over the last few games, though, so it stands to reason that they’re going to go for a command performance at home tonight. SJS are +8 against CBJ for 13 West.

And, last but not least…

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS. Game 4 of 6. WSH leads by 2. While we’re on the subject of a busy Deadline Day, take a look at the trio of new Capitals on the ice tonight. Eric Belanger will be #18, Scott Walker will be #24, and Joe Corvo will be #77, according to WashingtonCaps.com. Since two of these guys played for Carolina before they got here, the should be familiar with the Bolts already (Tampa Bay leads Carolina by 1 after 4 games, for what it’s worth.) A win by the Caps tonight would move them to within 12 points of mathematically clinching the Southeast division, and you can make that 10 if the Islanders beat Atlanta tonight. WSH is +5 against CAR for 13 East and 4 Southeast.

I’ll be at the game tonight, albeit at less than 100 percent. This will be my first game since January, thanks to Snowmaggedon, Metro, and the Olympics. Man, have I missed Caps hockey.




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