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There are still interesting talking points occurring in the world of hockey. The West’s #4-8 are separated by two points. Boston is up to #2 in the East. Washington will probably need to win their division to earn home-ice advantage, but they’re having trouble getting over that hump. Atlanta has some breathing room over Carolina, but still have two games out of hand. With everyone still going at it, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Wednesday, January 19, before the day’s games:
Colorado‘s trying to pick it up lately, but Detroit has eight more points, and the Avs do have that defensive issues preventing them from rising to the top. Especially in Detroit, look for the Red Wings to take advantage of that.
Dallas has won four straight; Phoenix has lost their last two (after a four-game winning streak of their own). When you lose two in a row at home like that, it doesn’t speak too well to your team, and Dallas is in a better position to do something about it.
Both teams are 8-2-0 in their last 10, and are pushing up the West standings. But Anaheim gives up a lot more goals. With a much better defense, home-ice advantage and three games in hand, Nashville is the team to beat in the middle series.
Atlanta can thank Boston for knocking Carolina down a few pegs, but Carolina will still overtake them with wins in their two games in hand. Philly has won three in a row, and is too good for Atlanta right now. But then again, the Saints were too good for the Seahawks. Flyers win, though.
Boston may be riding high right now, but I’d like them to back up the league’s best defense with more blowouts. And I’d also like Tuukka Rask to be good. With records the way they are, Boston would definitely prefer to be the road team, but still, New York‘s goal differential is 22 lower. Thank you, Drew Carey stand-in Tim Thomas.
Montreal is amongst the hardest teams to beat in their house this season, but Tampa‘s no slouch. Though at 150 goals surrendered, Tampa is better than only Atlanta and Edmonton. Montreal seems to want to carefully manipulate the game to get their opportunities rather than Tampa’s all-out blitz, and that is usually a better strategy against dangerous opponents.
Pittsburgh‘s done alright for themselves without Sid the Kid. Washington may have won on New Year’s Night, but Pittsburgh is on the winning streak (following a losing streak). Overall, Pittsburgh has a better goalie situation, and more pieces.
Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, NHL Playoffs, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals