You gotta love the stretch run. Its essentially preseason playoff hockey, at least for most teams. The bubble teams start realizing its now or never, the guaranteed teams start playing at that level of higher consciousness getting ready for April, and the bottomfeeders love to become spoilers.
Exhibit A - Bubble Teams turning it on...
Carolina 9 Tampa Bay 3
Florida 5 St. Louis 3
Edmonton 4 Toronto 1
Columbus 8 Detroit 2
Vancouver 3 San Jose 1
Exhibit B - Doormats play like they've got nothing to lose...
NY Isles 7 NJ Devils 3
Ottawa 6 Buffalo 3
Los Angeles 4 Minnesota 3
Exhibit C - Jimi Hendrix level of play...
Boston 5 Chicago 3
That's all we have for Exhibit C? Shit.
The upper echelon teams are tearing at the seams. Detroit, the cream of the crop, dropped two Saturday games in a row and allowed 8 goals in each to Nashville, and Columbus respectively. I thought I saw Osgood crying when he was pulling himself out of the Columbus game.
The Sharks are all kinds of out of sync, dropping their last four, with two wins in the past seven, and those two by only one goal margins. Granted, they've been without Nabokov for the last five, but in order to be playoff ready you've got to rise to the challenge.
And Boston dropped a 4-3 game to the Rangers at MSG, giving them a record of 4 and 6 over the past 10.
Bad timing when you're knocking on the door of the seasonal tourney. Burnt out? Bored? Who knows, but its always fun to watch a late season collapse at the end of a strong season.