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2014-15: What It's Finally Come Down To In The East Wild Card


TropicalFruitGirl26

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Yes, I know @yave1964 had a great thread about the teams that were vying for the final Wild Card awhile back, but much as changed since then, thanks to continued inconsistency by the Bruins, the major falling away of some other teams (cough, Flyers...COUGH!), the butting in of another (The Hamburglar and his Senators), and suddenly, three teams, originally deemed locks at either divisional positions or the 1st WC (Detroit, Washington, Pittsburgh), now suddenly hearing ice skates not all that far behind them.

 

But when you scrape away all the 'this and that', what it really has come down to in the Eastern Conference Wild Card situation, the final one, is the Senators and Bruins tied in points (85) and the Florida Panthers still within paw's reach at 83.

 

Now I did mention that teams such as the Red Wings (90), Penguins (91), and Capitals (90) should be looking over their shoulders a bit, the fact of the matter is, while it is possible 2 of either Boston, Ottawa, and Florida COULD make it in (it would mean bumping one of Wash, Pitts, or Det down and out of the WC picture altogether), it is NOT likely because for one, those teams would have to go into COMPLETE collapse mode AND their simply aren't enough games left (8-9) for most teams for that to be feasible.

 

So I am thinking, while a team like Detroit or even Pittsburgh, who have not played particularly well these past sets of games, they should still make the playoffs if they play just 'well enough' due to the fact that the season will probably end before any real chance of them falling out occurs.

Washington, well, they have been playing really well some nights, other nights, not so much, but bottom line is, they are doing enough so that they should get in as well.

 

That brings us back to one Wild Card (2nd one) and three teams that want it: The Bruins, Senators, Panthers.

 

So perhaps from now to the end of the season, we can discuss those three teams here (throwing in the Pens, Wings, and Caps ONLY if they suddenly forget how to play hockey), and see how they are doing and the likelihood of each of the three making the playoffs.

 

As I mentioned before, Bruins and Sens are tied, and that in itself is a victory for Ottawa considering where they were just even a couple weeks to a month ago.

However, that said, Bruins still have the opportunity to play "Boston strong" hockey, and it doesn't even have to be sustained for TOO long a stretch, as the season simply doesn't have many games left, and manage to squeeze in, leaving the Sens on the outside looking in, just shy, by a point or two....which would really, really be heartbreaking for Sens fans obviously.

 

Panthers? Well, they are now chasing both teams.

Today, Florida starts things off against Montreal (always a tough matchup), then get their shot tomorrow at the Sens, then get a shot at the Bruins on Tuesday....all road games for Florida (16-15-7 away from Sunrise)..............and furthermore, they will have to win those games WITHOUT the services of one Mr. Nick Bjugstad, who is now done for the season after undergoing back surgery...major, major, loss in deed.

 

So there we have it.

Three teams with a legit shot, but only ONE playoff spot remaining (unless a certain other team wants to donate theirs ;)  ).

 

Discuss all things Bruins, Senators and Panthers, and what each team can realistically expect in trying to get into the playoffs...and if any get in, does any have a real chance at taking out the top seeded team they will face....right now, that top seed can be either the NY Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, or Tampa Bay Lightning.

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@TropicalFruitGirl26   I think it's super cool that the Panthers, Sens and Bruins all play each other. The NHL schedule makers certainly earned their cash this year. This is the way it should be, teams in the race/mix facing off against each other....classic.

 

Indeed @jammer2

 

I probably should have included this on my opening post, but I was told by Windows I exceed my posting limit for a single post :lol: , so I put it here now...

The remaining schedules for the teams in question:

 

Boston Bruins

 

Home vs NY Rangers (today), 1pm/est

@ Carolina                   (Sun), 5pm EST

Home vs Florida          (Tues), 7pm EST

@ Detroit                      (Thurs), 7:30 EST

Home vs Toronto         (Sat),  7pm EST

@ Washington              (Wed, Apr 8), 7pm EST

@ Florida                      (Thurs, Apr 9), 7:30 EST

@ Tampa Bay               (Sat, Apr 11), 7:30 EST

 

 

Ottawa Senators

 

@ Toronto                    (Today), 7pm EST

Home vs Florida          (Sun), 5pm EST

@ Detroit                      (Tue), 7:30 EST

Home vs Tampa Bay   (Thurs), 7:30 EST

Home vs. Washington (Sat), 7PM EST

@ Toronto                   (Sun, Apr 5), 7pm EST

Home vs Pittsburgh    (Tues, Apr 7), 7:30 EST

@ NY Rangers            (Thurs, Apr 9), 7PM EST

@ Philadelphia            (Sat, Apr 11), 12:30 Matinee

 

 

 

Florida Panthers

 

@ Montreal                   (Today), 7PM EST

@ Ottawa                      (Sun), 5Pm EST

@ Boston                      (Tue), 7pm EST

Home vs Carolina         (Thurs), 7:30 EST

Home vs Tampa Bay    (Sat), 7pm EST

Home vs Montreal        (Sun, Apr 5), 7:30 EST

Home vs Boston           (Thurs, Apr 9), 7:30 EST

Home vs New Jersey   (Sat, Apr 11), 7pm EST 

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Wow losing Bjugstad is a heartbreaker for the Panthers. It was kind of stacked against them, now, I pretty much write them off.

Boston and Ottawa then.

Games remaining:

Ottawa: 9 (4 home, 5 road)

Boston: 8 (3 home 5 road)

Teams they play

Ottawa: against contenders for spot: 5

Ottawa against also rans: 4

Boston against contenders: 4

Boston against non-contendrs: 4

Pretty damn even.

Both play Detroit and Washington so they could conceivably both defeat either or both of these teams and then it becomes a 4 team race for 2 spots. Not likely, like you I see this as a two team race.

Boston got Krejci back which is huge. Mcarthur is due back I believe today for Ottawa which helps give them three solid lines.

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Watching some Rangers-Bruins now, and Boston is just all over the Rangers... 3-0 after the 1st period, with that goon, Milan Lucic leading the way with 2 goals.

 

Henrik Lundquist is in goal, and he doesn't look at sharp as he normally would be (not surprising, given the time he's missed), but really, right now, the onus is on the Rangers to do something with their OFFENSE, as THAT has looked listless in this game.

 

Rangers did a heck of a job hindering another team in this thread, the Senators, on Thursday, hammering them 5-1, but Boston is giving them major issues as I type this.

New York best get the offense going, just let King Henrik sort his rustiness off on his own, don't worry about him....and get pucks to nets on Rask.

Otherwise, this game is pretty much over and the Bruins will skate away with two relatively easy points.

 

Senators and Panthers will know later on whether they will be keeping pace with Boston or have a chance to pass or gain.

Sens on the road in Toronto....Panthers on the road in Montreal.

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@TropicalFruitGirl26

Senators squandered a much needed point against Toronto, allowing a late goal to tie and losing in overtime to fall a point behind the Bruins.

Of the others, the Wings helped themselves, only a point behind the Isles and Pens after a win over the Lightning. The Capitals look like a team in disarray, losing 4-3 to the Predators. They have 90 points, 4 ahead of Ottawa but do have the lead in the ROW category for the tiebreaker.

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playoff-push.jpg?w=604

 

 

But when you scrape away all the 'this and that', what it really has come down to in the Eastern Conference Wild Card situation, the final one, is the Senators and Bruins tied in points (85) and the Florida Panthers still within paw's reach at 83.

 

LOL. :lol: Clever use of words! 

 

From watching the Leafs/Sens game the other night, I think Ottawa is done. They look like a team on the verge of a long losing streak that may have started last night. They totally collapsed against Toronto, and it's really hard to make the Leafs look that good.

 

I'm thinking the Bruins get their act together and do just enough to get in, and then I hope Montreal or New York wipes them out 4-0 in round one because I think they're an awful team this year.  :)

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LOL. :lol: Clever use of words! 

 

From watching the Leafs/Sens game the other night, I think Ottawa is done. They look like a team on the verge of a long losing streak that may have started last night. They totally collapsed against Toronto, and it's really hard to make the Leafs look that good.

 

I'm thinking the Bruins get their act together and do just enough to get in, and then I hope Montreal or New York wipes them out 4-0 in round one because I think they're an awful team this year.  :)

 

Boy, I hope the bolded ISN'T true.

I know not all stories have a happy ending, but this one just deserves one!

And happy ending for the Sens doesn't even mean win a Stanley Cup, Conference title, or even a series....considering where this team was when the magic started, their happy ending, at least in my view, would be to just bump off Boston and GET IN!

 

True, the Leafs SHOULD have been beaten...and NOT just because they are the Leafs...but because the Sens were in control of this one and just let it slip away.

 

Leafs are bad, Leafs are bad, Leafs are bad...yea, I know.

But Toronto recently played the Wild and even though the Wild won, Toronto was NO pushover in that game either!

The thing Minnesota has that Ottawa simply doesn't have is the structured defense and the number ONE rated penalty kill in the league.... and at the end of the game, it was those things, I believe, that prevented any Leafs comeback.

 

That said, this two game losing streak for the Sens will test their mental abilities to shrug things off.

No need for them to panic....they just need to just do whatever it is they were doing before, same routines, etc, change NOTHING, and plan for their next opponent.

It's only a point they are behind, still have a game in hand, and Boston STILL has consistency issues.

 

One has to figure, with the miracle run they are on, there are BOUND to be letdown games, maybe a couple in a row, but they are still right in this thing.

Sens and Florida square off against each other tonight....big, big, game for BOTH. Almost a shame the B's get the Canes while those two are going tooth n claw (more clever use of words..hehe), but such is the schedule ...........but the Canes sometimes have the ability to catch a cocky team off guard with their underrated defense and opportunistic, though anemic, scoring.

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@yave1964

 

I think 'squandered' for the Sens is appropriate...like I said before, they were in full control and just let the game slip away.

It happens, hopefully for them, they treat it like yesterday's news and move on......Panthers on the docket next.

 

I guess I can sorta say the same about the Panthers. Sure, they were playing a very good Montreal Canadiens team, but seems to me, the scoring on Montreal's side came out of stupid penalties and overall lack of discipline on the part of the Panthers.

 

Unsportsmanlike for the Panthers when one of their players banged and broke his stick across a half board lead to a Habs PP and eventual goal....and high sticking in the OT, well, that just led to automatic doom and the loss for Florida.

Maybe the Habs would've won this anyways, maybe not....but Barkov, Huberdeau, Jagr, and Luongo were fantastic in this game and the Cats just didn't help themselves by staying out of really bad penalty situations.

 

Bruins of course, simply wac-a-moled the Rangers no doubt. THAT Bruins team that played NY looked like the one that had been a perennial contender these last few years.

But can they do it again? And again? And again? There is the rub for them........

'The Goon' had himself a good game, but we all know, all it takes is for someone to frustrated him a bit and he becomes undone.

I can only hope.

;)

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Boy, I hope the bolded ISN'T true.

I know not all stories have a happy ending, but this one just deserves one!

And happy ending for the Sens doesn't even mean win a Stanley Cup, Conference title, or even a series....considering where this team was when the magic started, their happy ending, at least in my view, would be to just bump off Boston and GET IN!

 

It would be a happy story indeed, but I think it's going to be one of those stories where the Sens dug themselves too deep a hole early on and weren't able to climb out of it. Whenever a team goes 10-0 or 9-1, you can almost be sure that a period of 3-7 or 4-6 hockey is about to follow.

 

I can picture the Bruins playing decent hockey (better than .500) the rest of the way in while the Sens and Panthers just cool off and run out of time.  :(

 

We shall see.  :)

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Bruins of course, simply wac-a-moled the Rangers no doubt. THAT Bruins team that played NY looked like the one that had been a perennial contender these last few years.

;)

 

You have a way with words.  Love it!  :wub[1]:   (In a forum friendly way, not an "I'm hitting on anyone" kind of way.)  :cool[1]:

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Sens let another one get away today, a lost weekend at the worst of all possible times.

Bruins 4 points

Panthers 3 points

Senators 1 point

Bruins starting to pull away with less than two weeks to go.

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Sens let another one get away today, a lost weekend at the worst of all possible times.

Bruins 4 points

Panthers 3 points

Senators 1 point

Bruins starting to pull away with less than two weeks to go.

 

As I suspected. Sens are running on fumes. This recent push they had was it.

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As I suspected. Sens are running on fumes. This recent push they had was it.

 

 

Certainly looks like it. The young guys are starting to crack under the pressure. They don't play the Bruins again so they will need help. On the other hand, they get the Leafs and the Flyers in their last 6....

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Sens let another one get away today, a lost weekend at the worst of all possible times.

Bruins 4 points

Panthers 3 points

Senators 1 point

Bruins starting to pull away with less than two weeks to go.

 

While not the best possible outcome for the Bruins, it was certainly a good one for them.

 

Panthers doing all they can to catch Boston, but being the furthest out, and what I believe to be the toughest of the three schedules, the B's HAVE to be grinning from ear to ear.

That said, the Cats do get two shots at the Bruins before all is said and done.

 

Sens?

Wow. Only one point to show for their weekend.

They got hammered by NY (not really that surprising) and had it taken to them by the other would-be contender in the form of the Panthers (that is gonna happen too), but that loss to the Leafs...well, that was just devastating, IMO.....I mean, bad team, you have them on the ropes, then you not only let them back up, but they beat you.

 

Yea, yea, even if the Sens won, it would have been just one more point, but I think we can all agree that EVERY single point is at a premium right now....and the psychology of giving up the game to a disheveled bottom dweller like Toronto? Just wow.

 

I've said many times though...it's all going to come down to the character on the Sens as a whole.

Lost weekend? Sure.

But they are only still 3pts out, do have the game in hand (total of 7 games) to still make something of this run.

Sens DO have a tough immediate schedule (Det, TB, Wash), but if they want the playoffs, then they are going to have to beat tough clubs anyways.

 

End of the line for The Hamburglar and the rest of McDonald Land? Hmmm...not quite yet....let's see what they can do against the Wings and my Bolts next....

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You know...I've been giving some thought as well as listening to some analysis on TV regarding the race for the playoffs between these three teams.

 

I still say the Sens are 'right there' and have a shot to still take the final spot from Boston, while Florida faces the tougher road (though still, obviously with the two games vs Boston)...however....the overall general consensus according to the 'experts' on TV is:

Tonight could be the night.

 

Panthers face off against the Bruins and many feel if the Bruins get a regulation win against Florida, mathematics or not, it will put out the Cats for good.

And if the Sens can't at least match the B's with a win of their own, that Ottawa's fate will be sealed as well....because too much momentum would be going the Bruins' way, and not enough time and games will remain for Ottawa for them to suffer another straight up loss while the B's win.

 

And I agree with all that.

 

No mathematical eliminations will take place today...but yea...a Bruins regulation win against Florida, and a Sens loss in Detroit, IMO, now would = Bruins in the playoffs.

 

Pressure is on the Panthers and Senators.

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Here we go....

 

All three subject teams for this thread are in action today!

Ok, ok...I said it was a TWO team race between Boston and Ottawa, since the Panthers dropped that real important game to the Bruins in regulation a couple days agao, but still...I will include them here as the dark horse.  ;)

 

First up...

Bruins @ Red Wings

 

Rematch from last year's playoffs and the fact that the Wings are NOW trying to stave off Boston for their guaranteed 3rd slot should make this interesting.

Wings have been up n down recently so which Wings team will show up is anybody's guess.

Detroit DOES have the ability still to skate circles around a mostly 'power type' Boston team, as many quicker teams have done, but the way the Bruins have picked up their play, that in no way guarantees success.

 

And while the Bruins are in Detroit, we also have:

Lightning @ Ottawa

 

Hey, I am loving this story for the Sens, but they face down a Bolts team (MY Bolts team!) that is having some issues regarding injury on the defense and consistency on the ice.

If the Bolts play as lukewarm in this one as they have recently, then the Sens have a real shot to pull off yet another win to keep putting pressure on the Bruins (and possibly the Red Wings!) for their playoff spot.

 

But if the Bolts were as embarrassed as I think they SHOULD be after dropping a game with a sub par effort to the Leafs, then the Sens best watch out.

Ottawa doesn't exactly boast the most airtight defense in the league and all the Lightning need is some momentum for their high powered offense to take hold of things while Ben Bishop slams doors shut.

 

And while the previous games are going on, we have "the darkhorse"...errr, or is it, dark cat? :huh:

Hurricanes @ Panthers

 

On paper, the Panthers should have the 'easiest' opponent between them, the Sens and the B's.

But we all know what 'on paper' is good for...writing essays and wiping our rear ends...so that means squat.

Panthers aren't so far above the Canes that they can easily dismiss them....and to Carolina's credit, they DO rise up to play against even the toughest teams in the league due to the fact that they sport a pretty decent overall defense and good overall special teams (PP and PK unites combined).

 

So Florida has NO cakewalk here...plus they are in the deepest hole with the most pressure to win.

 

Oh, and all these games will be going on simultaneously, so players on all squads won't have time to check scores or watch highlights....all three teams will be at it on the ice, doing their thing starting at 7:30pm EST / 6:30 Central.

 

Boston is still in the driver's seat, the Sens are right there, and the Panthers are hoping for a Hail Mary.

But should be an exciting night for all three! 

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With Detroit now in play, it's three teams chasing two spots (Detroit, Boston, Ottawa) instead of three teams chasing one spot (Boston, Ottawa, Florida), so that helps the Sens slightly.  :)

 

Still, it looks like Boston isn't going to lose another game this season. :(

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With Detroit now in play, it's three teams chasing two spots (Detroit, Boston, Ottawa) instead of three teams chasing one spot (Boston, Ottawa, Florida), so that helps the Sens slightly.  :)

 

Still, it looks like Boston isn't going to lose another game this season. :(

 

Yea, leave it to the Panthers (by losing) and Detroit (by LOSING!) to totally screw up my thread!  LOL

 

I mean, the Wings weren't even the header picture when this thread was started because it was assumed, you know, that they could at the very least HANG ON to their playoff spot?

Arrrgghh...well, they may still get in, but they are playing with some fire.

 

Crazy scenario? BOTH Boston and Ottawa find their way in........and the Wings bungle themselves right out of everything.

Not likely (or is it!?), but possible.

 

Panthers are on the brink.

They face down the Bolts today and unfortunately for them, the Lightning will be looking to put them out of their misery. Loss of any kind for Florida puts the Cats to sleep.

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Yea, leave it to the Panthers (by losing) and Detroit (by LOSING!) to totally screw up my thread!  LOL

 

I mean, the Wings weren't even the header picture when this thread was started because it was assumed, you know, that they could at the very least HANG ON to their playoff spot?

Arrrgghh...well, they may still get in, but they are playing with some fire.

 

Crazy scenario? BOTH Boston and Ottawa find their way in........and the Wings bungle themselves right out of everything.

Not likely (or is it!?), but possible.

 

Panthers are on the brink.

They face down the Bolts today and unfortunately for them, the Lightning will be looking to put them out of their misery. Loss of any kind for Florida puts the Cats to sleep.

 

LOL. Ch..ch..ch..changes.  :P

 

Yeah, the Red Wings are on the brink. Bad time to go cold. The Penguins haven't been impressive either.

 

We might see Boston slide in to face Montreal for the 50 millionth time in NHL history, and Ottawa might get in too, but the proverbial "wheels" would have to fall off in Detroit completely for that to happen, and the Wings are still dangerous.  We shall see. (I say that every time but it rings true lol.)  :cool[1]:

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   You could almost hear the collective sigh of defeat coming from Sen's land when they lost to the Leafs....that loss basically lost things for them.....if they were even in a position to control their own destiny, they no longer have that luxury....they now need other stuff to happen while they claw and scratch out every remaining point....all is almost lost. Nice story while it lasted, but put a fork in these folks....

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