|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
Just another week to go, and it’s playoffs time! The final standings are really starting to take shape much more than ever before, but the lower seeds are still very much up for grabs. Set teams are starting to prepare for the postseason while contenders are still making their moves just to get a spot, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, March 29 at 7:30pm:
San Jose is busy trying to get back into the swing of things, and they’re doing a good job, but they’re still not quite there yet. They’re still having issues on the road, which will be the deciding factor against a team like St. Louis.
The Kings are in a similar position as the Sharks, clinging to a spot and having some road issues. The Canucks have won four in a row (including two shutouts, one against the Kings). They’re just as dangerous on the road as at home, and have the talent to sink the Kings.
Chicago is another team with road issues, but their West-leading 231 goals can’t be ignored. Neither can their defense, but they do have a recent five-game winning streak. Dallas definitely can take advantage of that, but they’ve been going back and forth with wins and losses for the last several games. In a playoff scenario between close teams like this, Chicago’s advantage as far as recent playoff experience might just carry the day.
Both teams are good, but not living up to their own standards. Nashville is the better road team, but we all know what Detroit‘s done at home this season. Detroit is also the better team on both sides of the puck, giving them a goal differential 31 units better than Nashville. If Detroit can hold onto home-rink, they’ll retain the definite edge in the series as well.
Buffalo has won five straight, but New York is tearing up the East right now. Buffalo still has a negative goal differential, while New York continues to wield one of the league’s elite goaltenders. Not that Ryan Miller isn’t good, but his team is having an off year.
Florida may be in a good position to win their division, but the Devils are still a force, considering they come from such a stacked division. Florida will really need to hunker down at home to win this series, but that may be where New Jersey is the biggest threat.
Pittsburgh may have cooled off a bit, but they’re still better than almost any other team. They have the league’s best offense and a very good defense. As good as Philadelphia‘s been, even they’ll have a difficult time with Pittsburgh’s raw ability.
|Canucks def Sharks||Blues def Coyotes||Kings def Blackhawks||Red Wings def Predators|
|Rangers def Sabres||Bruins def Senators||Devils def Panthers||Penguins def Flyers|
|Rangers def Devils||Penguins def Bruins|
|Canucks def Red Wings||Blues def Kings|
|Penguins def Rangers|
|Canucks def Blues|
|Penguins def Canucks|
Tags: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL Playoffs, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks