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A Look at the Math, 3/7/10 March 7, 2010

Posted by CapitalSpirit in Uncategorized.

Chicago-Detroit just finished, so I’m going to explain what that meant. Memo to the Chicago game ops crew: playing “Take Me Out” when a visiting player is injured is in very poor taste. And “Smoke on the Water” doesn’t work on the organ.

DETROIT RED WINGS AT CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS. Was Game 5 of 6. CHI now leads series by 1. Also of note, the Hawks lose two points at the top end, so they are now trailing San Jose in terms of points available. San Jose is off today, so the Hawks will have some time before they can challenge for the Western lead once more. San Jose is idle until Thursday, getting some rest before their final stretch run. 10 of the Sharks’ final 17 games are on the road, so all that travel might mean a small opportunity for other teams (Caps, take note!) to exploit.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: CHI is now +4 against Columbus for 13 West and 4 Central.

BOSTON BRUINS AT PITTSBURGH PENGUINS. Game 3 of 4. BOS leads by 1. I’d love to see the Bruins slow the Penguins down here, but the Igloo is one of the toughest buildings in the East that’s not named Verizon Center. Lots of luck, Beantown.
SERIES: BOS can clinch series with a regulation win.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: PIT is +6 against Toronto for 14 East.
(Side note for my fellow Caps fans. Perspective check: The Caps have already secured the 12 spot in the East, and are already out of Top 5 draft position. Meanwhile, the second-place Pens still need half a dozen points just to nail down 14 East. I think we really are that good, Caps fans. Smile, enjoy the ride, and Believe.)

VANCOUVER CANUCKS AT NASHVILLE PREDATORS. Game 4 of 4. NSH leads by 2. Nashville’s playoff straits are a little more dire on this one. The Preds should hold off the road-weary Canucks here, I would think.
SERIES: VAN must win in regulation to tie, or NSH wins.
PLAYOFF CLINCH CANUCKS: Can clinch 14 West and 4 Northwest with a win; an Edmonton regulation loss; or an overtime loss with an Edmonton overtime loss.

CALGARY FLAMES AT MINNESOTA WILD. Game 4 of 6. MIN leads by 5. Math’s kind of boring here–only exciting thing, mathematically, is the series possibility. It’s going to make for great hockey–the Northwest has a lot of intra-divisional hate–but the math is a snoozer.
SERIES: MIN can clinch series with any win.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: MIN is -9 against WSH for President’s Trophy.

CAROLINA HURRICANES AT ATLANTA THRASHERS. Game 4 of 6. ATL leads by 2. Caps fans, you want to see the Hurricanes win this one. They can’t catch us no matter what they do, and if they beat Atlanta at home, the Caps would only need 6 points to earn a “Y” in the NHL standings. The Caps could potentially take care of that by the end of the week. So that’s “Y” we want the Canes to win this one.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: ATL is -8 against WSH for President’s Trophy, 1 Southeast, and 3 East.

BUFFALO SABRES AT NEW YORK RANGERS. Game 3 of 4. Series is even. Two teams that the Caps have beaten in the past four days play Madison Square Garden for commiseration rights, or something. The Blueshirts need this one badly so that they can stay in the hunt, so look for a spirited game in front of a rowdy New York crowd. (A thought: are New York crowds ever anything less?)
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: NYR are -4 against WSH for President’s Trophy and 1 East.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS. Game 3 of 4. Series is even. I’m not quite sure what to make of the Flyers this year. They’ve done well in their division, the Penguins notwithstanding, but that’s about it as far as the good teams go. Take a look at the Flyers on the Head-to-Head chart. They did a good job against the Kings, but the rest of their wins outside the Atlantic have been against some fairly so-so competition. And while they do have the upper hand against Boston and Montreal, those two teams aren’t exactly powerhouse teams this year. Did I mention that the Flyers stood pat at the trade deadline? Here’s where Flyers fans need to worry: the Flyers are currently 6th in the East, and they have a winning record against only one of the five teams in front of them.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: TOR is -6 against PIT for 2 East.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS AT EDMONTON OILERS. Game 1 of 1. The Oilers have already announced that they’re playing for the future, so this one will no doubt be a walk in the park for a powerhouse team like New Jersey. That’s great news for three other teams in the West, who would clinch the 14 West spot if the Devils take care of business in sixty minutes.
PLAYOFF ELIMINATION: OILERS: Would be eliminated from 6 West, and 2 Northwest, with a regulation loss. Would be eliminated from 4 West, and 1 Northwest, with a win and a Vancouver win, OR with an overtime loss and a Vancouver overtime loss.

MONTREAL CANADIENS AT ANAHEIM DUCKS. Game 1 of 1. The Habs continue their trip out West with a stop at the Pond. A win here would give the Habs 6 points out of 8 on their road trip, which isn’t bad at all. The Ducks, meanwhile, are still looking for their first win since the Olympic break. This game kicks off a 7-game homestand for Anaheim, so a win here would kick it off on the right foot.
SMALLEST MAGIC NUMBER: MTL is -4 against WSH for President’s Trophy and 1 East.

AVALANCHE: Can clinch 14 West with an Edmonton regulation loss.
KINGS: Can clinch 14 West with an Edmonton regulation loss.




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