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NHL Playoff Race

  • It’s that time of the year again. The home strech of the season and the final run at the playoffs. The new rules and CBA designed to make the league competitive for every team have so far delivered what they’ve promised. A quick glance at the Eastern Conference standings this morning shows us 6 teams that all have a very legitimate shot at the post season. The Canadiens sit right in the middle of the pack and like they usually do at this time of the year will have to fight hard to squeeze into one of the bottom spots. 3 spots for 6 teams.

    6th spot to 11th spot is seperated by only 8 points. There’s a good chance a team or two will miss making the post season by as little as 1 point. Each game is more crucial then the last and it’s shaping up to possibly be one of the most exciting finishes in recent history.

    The Senators did the Canadiens a huge favor by scoring a game winning goal in the last 10 seconds over the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning lead 3-1 at one point. Whatever confidence they got after beating the Habs just went out the window. The Canadiens hold 2 games in hand on the Lightning and trail by a single point. John Tortorella’s head may explode before the Lightning ever win another cup.

    The Devils losing and the Leafs and Islanders on a mini win streak tighten things up even more.

    This late in the season a hot goaltender or an injury could seal or guarantee a teams fate. There’s definitely no guarantee right now and the current 6th-8th place teams could easily become 9th-11th.

    If you’re a betting man, odds are good that the Devils will finish no worse than 8th. The rest is really up for grabs.
    One thing is certain, after the recent taste of success the Canadiens have had if they somehow don’t make the playoffs it will hurt even worse.

    How do you see it ending?

    • 6th – Devils
    • 7th – Canadiens
    • 8th – Thrashers
    • 9th – Leafs
    • 10th – Lightning
    • 11th – Islanders
  1. I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints (mainly the media) about how the schedule does not allow teams to play out of their division/conference enough.

    But by playing most of your games inside your own division, it makes each and every game – especially the last 1/3 of the season – very important.

    Situations like this, 6 teams fighting for playoff life, make it really exciting for fans of those teams. If you’re an Ottawa fan (ick), you’re not as interested in these final games becuse the Sens are a playoff lock. If you’re like us, fans of the Habs, each game is literally life and death.

    Personally, I like the changes to the schedule, and I’m really enjoying the last part of the season.

    Go Habs! Kick some Carolina A$$!

  2. #2 Dimitri says:
    March 15, 2006 at 2:57 pm

    Given that the Canadiens

    1) have two of the hotest goaltenders in hockey. I think it is almost
    a given that we are going to get consistent goaltending from now
    on.
    2) have 12 home games and 6 road games to play
    3) have solid coaching (Gainey,Carbonneau)
    4) have a 3 point lead and 1 game in hand from the 9th place team, Atlanta

    we are almost a shoe-in to make the playoffs….

    In fact, I see the Canadiens pulling off one or two upsets in the playoffs….

  3. Frankly, I think that Montreal’s in it for sure. They definetly won’t be up in the big leagues with all those tough guys but I know that Toronto won’t be in it! Hee Hee Ha Ha. They’ve been playing pretty badly lately and Belfour’s not too into it. If you pay close enough attention you’ll notice that Sundin has been limping on his left foot and I think he might have injured it. It really shows when he plays.

  4. I’m a big fan of the Canadians. I think America is the shits. I may be 81 years old but I know what country is good and what country needs to calm down. They’re bombing Afganira or whatever all because of one cookie! Like, GIMME A BREAK PEOPLE! geese louise!

  5. I voted that the Canadiens would get sixth place, but I had forgotton how fragile Markov and other players are. I hope we still make seventh or eighth place.

  6. #6 Manitoban says:
    March 17, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    I’m just hoping for 8th. And the thought that the Habs could get bumped by freaking Atlanta is the worst part.

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