Luck of the Draw
How is it that at the end of the year, there always ends up being one of those games that pits two teams who are fighting for the same playoff spot, against one another? Here we are with 10 (or 11) games left to play and we've got the underachieving Bruins with 76 points clinging to the eighth and final seed, against the underdog Thrashers with 75 points who have won their last four to give them a shot at peeking at the playoffs. That's peeking, not peaking.
In truth the B's don't deserve to even sniff the playoffs after looking like complete dogshit for most of the year, even before Savard went down with two injuries. With a lineup like their's, there's no reason they should be in this situation, and likewise they're all equally responsible. Atlanta, on the other hand, has soldiered on after dealing their franchise player, and have come together as a team rather than relying on their offensive dynamo to bail them out. Even with 10 or so games left to play, this game tonight in Blueland could very well determine who extends their season and who extends their recliner.
Remember the Good Stuff Too
One of the few members of that aforementioned Bruins team that's still got some pride in his game went to visit a 15-year old hockey player who broke his neck during a game. Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a similar fate, came with an autographed Bruins jersey and his Gold Medal to show Matt Brown who crashed head first into the boards back in January. Brown is a sophomore on his Norwood High School hockey team in the Boston area, who was transferred to an Atlanta hospital for rehabilitation after successful surgery.
The Sharks Do It Again (Sneak Preview)
Having now become the perennial playoff joke, the Sharks have found their postseason slump just before the end of the regular season for a change. They've lost their Pacific Division lead which took a two-part miracle to unfold with the surge of a nine game winning streak from the Coyotes, and a piss poor effort from the Sharks to lose five in a row. They now sit, in what appears comfortably, in fourth with 96 points, seven ahead of the fifth place Kings, with time to work things out. Now with their recent history of playoff flops and the uninspired play from this team lately its easy for everyone to stick a fork in them but I think it spells trouble. For everyone else.
The Sharks still have 10 games left to play, are in no danger of missing the playoffs, and sit only a point back of retaining the Division lead, and also the Conference. On one hand you could see them stumbling into the post in fourth and have a date with a much tougher middle of the pack team like Los Angeles or Nashville, but still avoiding Detroit and all that pressure. On the other, you could see them getting pissed off, turning the ship around, and carrying that momentum into the later rounds. Its a crap shoot, and no one knows what Sharks team will show up on what night, but like the NHL moniker says, "is this the year?"
Its Just One of Those Years
Nothing is going right for the Edmonton Oilers this season, who are now looking for someone, anyone to act as backup goaltender/door opener for tonight's game against the Canucks. Jeff Drouin-Deslaurier is going to get the start tonight, but Devan Dubnyk is out with an infectious gastrointestinal disorder, and Nikolai Khabibulin is still racing around Phoenix drinking to his good health. No one else in the farm system is available, so the Oil need someone to fill Dubnyk's 6'5" frame to use his NHL approved equipment.
Oh and some Chiropractor who treats some of the Capitals has been busted for selling steroids, and associated with the last asshole who named names in an attempt to save his ass when the hammer fell. But we'll get to that another time, the games are coming on...