The OGA Game 60 Analysis is coming very soon, but we wanted you to keep an eye on a few things for today's games of importance to the Playoff picture...
BOSTON can come within an OTL of mathematically clinching a Playoff berth with a win over WASHINGTON today. The CAPS are within five wins of doing likewise.
If they are going to clench a Playoff berth during the Game 70 evaluation period, FLORIDA has
very little leeway with the 'W' column over the next nine games. Based on current play, however, we like their chances of getting into the Playoffs barring major changes that undo team chemistry (read: suck it up and do not trade Bouwmeester).
DALLAS is still meeting the On Goal Analysis Playoff Qualifying Curve (PQC) requirements to hang in the fight for a Playoff berth in the West but needs to break their three-game losing skid.
ANAHEIM has been declared at Tee Time - eliminated from the Playoffs - already. Think the DUCKS are still strong in the hunt? They must win their next seven games just to slide back up In The Curve, or about average play for a team.
For both TORONTO and OTTAWA, today's contest loser - if in regulation - ensures they remain very mired at Tee Time.
A loss by the RANGERS against COLORADO today will continue their potential slide from the earliest clinching of a Playoff berth this season toward obscurity come mid-April.
A pesky ISLANDERS team could help erase the slim cushion BUFFALO enjoys for remaining in the Playoff hunt. The SABRES are helped today by an idle PITTSBURGH team, but the PENS slide into DALLAS tomorrow and could gain ground on BUFFALO.
SAN JOSE will have their hands full with a MONTREAL team that is riding a three-game winning streak and needs to win about 2-of-every-3 tilts by Game 70 to hold their middle-conference ranking in the East.
CAROLINA needs eight wins in their next seven games to clinch a Playoff berth. That's right, 8-in-7. That being impossible, they will continue to shoot for excellence and move toward eliminating BUFFALO mathematically. Today's tilt will not be a cakewalk considering ATLANTA has won four of their last six games.
A regulation loss by NASHVILLE against DETROIT today wipes out their ability to do more than remain at Tee Time as OGA called on 6 January. DETROIT owns a 2-1 advantage in this series so far this season and has captured the last two games. But the PREDS have won their last three, and the WINGS, their last two. This should be a good matchup today.
ST. LOUIS has been on a strong push over the last 19 games as they have failed to garner any points only twice in that span. The BLUES' ability to fight back into a Playoff position would have to eclipse that of the CAPITALS' most prolific comeback against the PQC last season, and PHOENIX could help play the role of spolier this evening by walking away with a regulation win.
Finally, the MINNESOTA/EDMONTON tilt looks to be a great battle of two teams on the cusp of the post-season. The OILERS needs to win 2-of-3 to keep in the hunt, and the WILD need not lose or it will continue to be a race to Game 82 to retain the Playoff berth OGA says they clinched on 1 November.
Some great games today with Playoff significance. Enjoy!
OGA's Game 60 Analysis will be complete and published before the end of the weekend...