An attempt to be humorous and logical about the Buffalo Sports Scene.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Looking at the playoff race

Well with only a couple weeks left in the season, its time to look at the thing we really don't want to look at the Playoff picture. Yes, the Sabres are in it. Was the loss to Toronto bad? Yes, since every loss that doesn't come with a point is bad. But not end of the world. You would have thought the Tampa game would have scared them, but nope. They go out and lose to the Leafs. Like I said, they would have won unless Toskala stands on his head, and guess what he did. Of course Ryan Miller lets in a couple per usual, and the other goalie plays better the Sabres lose. He does know he is going to get a big deal soon right, and his play doesn't justify that. A good deal, but not a huge deal. But anyway lets look at the standings.

6. NY Rangers 88 Points
7. Philadelphia 86 Points
8. Boston 84 Points
9. Washington 82 Points
10 Buffalo 81 Points
11. Florida 81 Points
12. Toronto 80 Points

Well the Rangers are gone, someone you can root for now, Philly is getting out of reach, leaving the Bruins as a target. But with Washington and Florida right with the Sabres, you have to pay attention to them and who they have left. Toronto basically has to go undefeated the rest of the year which I don't see. So lets take the remaining schedules.

Philly - 6 games left 1 vs NYR, 2 vs NJ, 1 Vs Pitt and 1 vs NYI. They have a tough road ahead to move up from that 7th spot and could possibly go into a swan dive with the tough games, all teams except the Islanders looking to position themselves.

Boston - 7 games left. 2 vs TO, 2 vs Ottawa, 1 vs NJ, and 2 vs Buf. The bruins have gone very cold in March with only 3 wins this month. And with games against tough opponents, they could slide right out of the playoff race. They are a wounded animal maybe the Sabres could take advantage of that.

Washington - 6 games left. 2 vs Car, 2 vs Tampa, 2 vs FLA. The Caps are hot at the right time. Going 9-4 in their last 13 games. And have a favorable schedule the rest of the way. The Carolina matchups might be tough, but Carolina has no where to go, but 3rd. Tampa is dead in the water, and Florida, I have no idea about them. If anyone Boston has to look out for its the Caps.

Buffalo - 7 Games left. 2 vs Ott, 2 vs Mon, 2 vs Bos and 1 vs TO. Its all division matchups here on out. And tough ones. Ottawa is in a minor freefall, heading towards 6th in the East,(hey thats pretty smart) Montreal is in 1st and doesn't want to leave it. Boston is fighting for their lives and the Leafs are the Leafs. I have no idea where the teams head is at. And I can't say whether they will get into 7th or 8th or fall apart and wind up in 12th. But that last game at Boston, just screams make it or die written all over it.

Florida - 6 games left. 1 vs Tampa, 2 vs Atlanta, 2 vs WSH, and 1 vs Car. The panthers have a favorable schedule with 3 games against bottom feeders, and 3 versus better teams. But I just don't see them making the playoffs over a team like the Caps. I don't think they are good enough and no one needs the Panthers in the Playoffs. But hey stranger things have happened.

The road ahead is tough for the Sabres, they do have a game in hand on their closest teams, except Boston. They have a good couple days off here to get their game in order. Put on their game faces, because the Playoffs already started for the Sabres. They just need to play that way. Every shift, every period is important. There is no Drury or Briere to score that important goal. Its up to the Vaneks, Roys, Staffords and Hechts to score. Its time to see what this team is really made up of. Otherwise its gonna be a looooooong offseason for Darcy and friends.

But I have to take issue with Mike Harrington in this post, about the sabres "record". There is no way you can take a SO loss and put it in the loss category. All he did was slam OT/SO losses into the loss category. If I were adjusting the record. Shootouts would be ties. So the Sabres record in my eyes. Would be 33-31-11, not that bad of a record. You don't get points for losses, so they shouldn't be lumped in to the loss category. Thats why in my record scheme. OT losses are no points, and game that would go to the shootout are straight ties. So Mike Harrington you can use stats to slam the team, but they aren't a below .500 hockey team, close, but not quite.

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Buffalo, NY, United States
A Stay at home dad, who has more hot takes then your average stay at home dad.