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Here come the playoffs!


Believe it or not, they’ll be here sooner than you expect or want if you’re enjoying this fantastic season. With a around a dozen games left to go in the regular season, it’s time to look at some playoff scenarios. Instead of breaking down the clear cut teams that will be participating, we’ll examine teams that are hanging on to their playoff spot by a thread or those desperately playing to get in.

 

The Facts (as of 3/11/12) :

Eastern Conference:


(7) Ottawa
(36-25-9, 81 pts)
Games remaining: 12 (6 Home, 6 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 6, vs. East: 12


(8) Washington
(35-28-6, 76 pts)
Games remaining: 13 (5 Home, 8 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 10, vs. East: 10

 

In The Hunt

(9) Winnipeg (32-29-8, 72 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Washington) by 4 points
Games remaining: 13 (6 Home, 7 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 10, vs. East: 11

(10) Buffalo (32-29-8, 72 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Washington) by 4 points
Games remaining: 13 (6 Home, 7 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 8, vs. East: 11

(11) Tampa Bay (31-30-7, 69 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Washington) by 7 points
Games remaining: 14 (8 Home, 6 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 9, vs. East: 12

 

Analysis:

Let’s face it, Ottawa actually has a great chance of moving up the conference ladder in the remaining three weeks. Half of their remaining games are against quality opponents and in their past 13 games since Feb 11, they’ve dropped only 5 games.

In the same time span, the 8th seeded Caps have looked wobbly at best, balancing 3 game win streaks with 3 game loss streaks and dropping 8 of 15 since Feb 12. I expect them to fall out of playoff contention in the East. To whom? I know the Jets are a huge favorite north of the border but I believe the Sabres will end up with that 8th spot.

 

The Facts (as of 3/11/12) :

Western Conference


(7) Phoenix
(34-25-10, 78 pts)
Games remaining: 13 (6 Home, 7 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 9, vs. West: 13


(8) Calgary
(32-25-12, 76 pts)
Games remaining: 13 (8 Home, 5 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 9, vs. West: 13

 

In The Hunt

(9) Los Angeles (32-25-12, 76 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Calgary) by 0 points
Games remaining: 13 (7 Home, 6 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 9, vs. West: 12

(10) Colorado (36-30-4, 76 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Calgary) by 0 points
Games remaining: 12 (5 Home, 7 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 10, vs. West: 9

(11) San Jose (33-25-9, 75 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Calgary) by 1 point
Games remaining: 15 (8 Home, 7 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 12, vs. West: 14


(12) Anaheim
(29-30-10, 68 pts)
Trailing 8th seed (Calgary) by 8 points
Games remaining: 13 (7 Home, 6 Away)
vs. Quality teams: 11, vs. West: 12

 

Analysis:

Here’s where things are going to get murky, muddled and exciting over the next few weeks. 3 teams outside of the playoff cut within 1 point of the 8th spot says enough, honestly. I think that it’s possible that either the Flames or the NHL owned Coyotes fall out of playoff contention from the 7th and 8th spots, just to add some drama. Neither team has built a measure of consistency that you would expect of a team preparing for its’ playoff push.

That said, should either team fall out of the running, I believe the Avs are in the best position and on enough of a run to get into the playoffs this year. The Kings, who were looking great under new coach Darryl Sutter for a time just haven’t put together consistent and effective offense to convince me that (yes, this is my team I’m writing about) they’ll make it this year. It’s sad and a brilliant waste of a Quick, a fine Vezina Trophy contender’s efforts.

And the Sharks…well, in the past month they’ve played 15 games and managed to win 3. Wow! This was a team that many picked to be running mid pack in this conference but have instead suffered a complete collapse in the homestretch.

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  1. Justin
    March 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

    I pick Columbus to win the Stanley Cup. Oh, wait a minute…….

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