So, we're playing battleship now? My move...
Ottawa is in the playoff race again. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Why? Because they're 13-5-2 in their last 20 games. Since Hartsburg's firing and Clouston's hiring, the Senators became the biggest turn-around team in the NHL this year. Yes, last year they did the same thing, but in the opposite direction. Think about it, 13 wins, 2 OT/SO losses = 28 pts. That's a lot of points for a team to grab up in 20 games. Shooting up the standings? Not so much considering that the slots are being filled at this point as there are merely 10 games left per team. BUT, ponder this! The Senators have 74 points, standing in 11th place, 7 points back of 8th place. Mathematically, if all things stay equal, all they need to do is win 9 out of the ten games remaining (or win 8 and lose 2 in OT/SO). My point in all of this, speaking of points, is that the Ottawa Senators are the hottest team in the NHL on task with the Detroit Red Wings (who in fact have the same record in the last 20 games)!
Did I lead you on yet? Of course I did, and guess what? John, yes you can trash them all you want, but face the facts, Vancouver is the best team in the NHL right now (just ignore the scoring into their own empty net on a delayed Phoenix penalty). I should just put you in the box, John. 15-4-1 in the last 20 games is something you shouldn't brush aside! When a team is this hot, paying attention is important. These aren't one goal games either! Majority of them are two goal differences! With the game changing dynamic of their play, Vancouver can grow so far in their remaining 11 games to overtake the Northwest Division as Calgary's flame seems to have fizzled out. John would say something like, "Oh, well just because Calgary is 5-5-0 in their last ten, doesn't mean they're going to fall out of the top spot in the Northwest!" Their next three games are against Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Minnesota, then San Jose, Dallas, and Minnesota...Look at this month's scores: Loss to Carolina 6-1, Loss to Atlanta 5-2, Loss to Toronto 8-6, Loss to St. Louis 3-2. It's laughable. Since the trade deadline (where everyone raved and raved that the Flames did amazing), they are 4-5-0. Where's the impact from all those amazing moves? Bottom line, Vancouver has a strong change of taking the Northwest by numbers at this point in the season. John, last show (along with Rob) you said the top three in the Western Conference aren't going anywhere, well...see above. Vancouver has a strong shot.
Ok, now to quickly clarify that quote John used. I fibbed a little in that quote because Mr. Baranowski lectured me to "Not mention detailed standings or anything specific about the standings". So, what did I do? I generalized and mentioned nothing in particular just to cover ourselves going into the break. If I had my way, I would have spoke up and said "Montreal will continue to spiral downhill through the next couple weeks and past the trade deadline." I wanted to say it, I was hurting to say it, but John told me to keep in vague. I did! He got his wish. Personally, I wanted to virtually strangle him for censoring me, but, oh well. End result, G.C. is fired and B.G. takes over. Carey Price, I argued last year, was showing that he's a bit shaky and shouldn't be put in the position to carry the team on his shoulders following the Huet to Washington move. Halak has seen much more ice time lately, has he not? Go figure. Don't ever censor me on standings, John, because I'll puppet to your request and leave a general quote for you to use against me. I spoke those lines to please you because you threatened by life if I mentioned anything specific. Along those lines, the standings haven't shifted too dramatically aside from Pittsburgh's rise to a battle of the bottom four, and Detroit's rise to toggle with San Jose at the top. (Great game on Sunday between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, by the way). Pittsburgh 29 points in their last 20 games, Philadelphia 25 points in their last 20 games, these are two teams on the rise, and I'm willing to bet these two see each other first round and go 7 games.
Bottom line of all that was said above: The top 5 teams going into the playoffs are Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and New Jersey (Yeah, 14-6-0, Brodeur breaking the Wins record and closing in on the shutout record...hot). Honorable mention if they do not make the playoffs...Ottawa.
To close out this ranting, I'd like to apologize for not appearing in the last show. I had very important matters to tend, too. My family means a lot to me. Though you all are like a family to me, I chose to focus my efforts on my parents and family. Oh, and I got a new car! But, my family was the primary reason why I was tied up.
Also, I'd like to apologize for John's saying "regardless". I lost count at 43.
P.S.- I ignored enough of John's posting because it point-blank (and pointlessly) cheaply went after Buffalo, and had no real flow to it. I'm allowed to type and ramble all over the place. I deserved that right. Just wait until my Stanley Cup Playoff picks. I'm having fun calculating in my mind all of the scenarios. The cat will be let out of the bag real soon.
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So, we're playing battleship now? My move...