They Teach You How To Underline In College
by Deb Beckers
At the pace the playoff race in the East is going, the actual playoffs and Stanley Cup games are going to be anticlimactic; for those of you without a dictionary that means sleeping during the first three periods. This is the most thrilling race to the bottom that I can remember.
So this week we’re taking a look at the EASTERN playoff race, and what a race it’s shaping up to be. We’ve got SIX teams that have the possibility of making the bottom two playoff slots; the New York Islanders, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Montréal Canadiens, the New York Rangers and (shockingly enough) the Boston Bruins.*
New York Islanders
7th (who knew?), 76 points and 17 games remaining. They are sitting in the best spot. Good games in hand numbers, confidence is going up with each win (or almost win) and their deadline addition of Ryan Smith is looking like a last minute brilliant move. For now, she whispered ominously. They have some tough games coming up and need to keep their momentum moving forward or you might as well be watching Montréal. Meeting up with the hated Rangers a few more times should contribute nicely to the sale of beer on the island.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Sitting none too comfortably in the final playoff spot, the Leafs have 73 points and 15 games left. They are (yawn) playing the Senators in a home and home series Thursday and Saturday – I’m just hoping Emery gets all feisty again. Watching these teams play each other 300 times this season (and usually back to back) is getting kinda old. Toronto missed the playoffs last year and is hungry to make them this year – not that you could tell that by their play up until this point. Almost all their remaining games are against teams that are NOT in danger of losing their playoff spots. Pretty much we, in Toronto, have already given up hope, but don’t worry! We’re good at it.
Currently in 9th, 73 points with 14 games left to play. The defending Stanley Cup Champions certainly haven’t had the stellar year that I predicted for them at the beginning of the season. It’s hard to say why. On paper they look pretty good, but whatever magic they had last season is in short supply. They have quite a few games against teams that, let’s just say, have lost the hunger and their hope. They need to continue to perform well if they want to escape the embarrassment of missing the show all together this year.
Sitting in 10th, 72 Points with 14 games remaining (they did play last night, but it’s Wednesday as I’m writing this and we all know how my predictions go...). Building on their momentum from their win last week over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montréal... Lost their last three games.
New York Rangers
11th, 71 points 17 games remaining. More games in hand than anyone else (except their state rivals the Islanders) the Rangers have a 3-0-1 for their last four. They too play on Thursday (Islanders) there’s a game I’m really looking forward to and one that can certainly cause some movement in the rankings.
12th placed, 69 points t 16 games remaining. I do know that they have their work cut out for them this weekend with Philly on Saturday and Detroit on Sunday. They are on a high from kicking Montréal and New Jersey’s asses last week, let’s just hope for their fan sake that they don’t crash and burn. Anyone taking bets? They play Montréal 3 more times this season (great schedule eh?), this is their key to making the playoffs.
* as of 07 March 2007
So what do you sports Chachi’s and Chachinas think? Which races are you following? What does your team need to do to win?
Next week? We’re heading West. Live is peaceful there.
Deb doesn’t think you’re ready for that jelly.