Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: playoff standings
At the top, there are four teams sitting within three points of first place - the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. And picking a team to take that coveted top seed - let alone even emerge out of the conference - is like throwing darts while blindfolded.
“You could pick the New Jersey Devils, but then think, ‘No, they got shut out 4-0 by Montreal last week,’” explains TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie. “You then say Montreal is the best team, but then think, ‘They got blanked 3-0 by the Senators last week. How about Ottawa? They’re back, and they’re going to be good. No, they got beat by Carolina. What about Carolina?...”
From Pierre LeBrun at Sportsnet,
Call it a dog’s breakfast or a fantastic race, but I can’t remember the last time five teams were neck and neck for the Eastern Conference title with only three and a half weeks remaining in the regular season.
“Isn’t it something?,” agreed New York Rangers head coach Tom Renney.
Oh yeah, in case you haven’t noticed, the Rangers have knocked down the front door to the first-place party and are dancing with New Jersey, Montreal, Ottawa and Pittsburgh in the bid for the No. 1 seed in the weaker Eastern Conference (let’s be honest, Detroit, San Jose, Dallas and Anaheim would walk away with this conference… but I digress…)
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
Owen Nolan called it “nuts … I’ve never been a part of something this tight.” Alex Tanguay ventured that there were “no easy games” anymore. Jarome Iginla calculated that it would take 96 points to guarantee his Calgary Flames team a playoff spot. Coach Mike Keenan acknowledged once again that he is no fan of the three-point game, in which two teams can — and frequently do - earn a valuable point if a game goes into overtime or a shootout.
All of them were talking about the crazy playoff race in the NHL’s Western Conference which — in the past week or so — sorted itself out into hockey’s version of musical chairs, with nine contenders essentially vying for eight spots. The usual cast of also-rans have fallen far enough off the pace that they retain only the slim, Leaf-like hope for a miracle finish and a spot in post-season play.