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gocanes88

2011 NHL Playoff Picture

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From over at Puck Daddy:

Death Watch: Critical day in East: 3-team elimination?

Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

The next 48 hours could determine plenty in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

At the bottom the bracket, the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes, separated by three points, both play tonight: The Sabres with a tough road game at the Washington Capitals minus Ryan Miller(notes), and the Hurricanes on the road to face the New York Islanders, whom they've beaten three times this season.

On Sunday, the Hurricanes and Sabres meet in Raleigh. We could see a new No. 8 seed. Or we could see the Hurricanes suddenly a country mile from the Sabres.

(Click blog title for entire article.)

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Special early update just posted... I'll try to do this as much as I can as we enter the final week of the regular season. I work at night on Monday, Thursday, and Friday, however... so no early updates on those nights.

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I normally don't care about NBC's Sunday afternoon games (since it's the same teams every week)... but obviously today's game has major importance to us, so I made an early update just a minute ago. Because of Philadelphia's loss, we can't catch #7 yet... but that obviously doesn't matter. Just getting over the line is all I care about for right now. We'll do that if we win in regulation this evening. I'll be headed to the RBC Center in a bit to see if it'll happen... here's hoping it does!

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Playoff picture update!

#6 Canadiens (91)

4/5 vs. Blackhawks (Fighting for their own playoff lives; won't be an easy game for the Habs)

4/7 at Senators (No matter what their records are, this should be a battle for bragging rights and ruins Habs season)

4/9 at Maple Leafs (See Above; Slim chance for playoffs, but would love to deal a blow to the Habs chances)

#7 Sabres (90)

4/5 vs. Lightning (Not an easy game, as the Lightning are fighting for position and home ice against the Pens)

4/8 vs. Flyers (Struggling, so Laviolette SHOULD be on their *** to finish strong and not limp into the playoffs)

4/9 at Blue Jackets (Spoiler???)

#8 Rangers (89)

4/4 vs. Bruins (Bruins have a game in hand on Flyers and Capitals; would love to move into #2 spot; Rangers played and OT/SO game yesterday)

4/7 vs. Thrashers (Spoiler???)

4/9 vs. Devils (Devils are off the day before the Rangers game; would love to ruin their playoff chances)

#9 Hurricanes (87)

4/6 vs. Red Wings (Which Wings team will show up? The one that got run out of their own building by the Blues or the real Wings team???)

4/8 at Thrashers (Thrashers have to play and travel after playing the Rangers)

4/9 vs. Lightning (Lightning have to play and travel after playing the Panthers)

#10 Maple Leafs (84)

4/5 vs. Capitals (Lose here and they are "OFFICIALLY" done)

4/6 at Devils

4/9 vs. Canadiens

Edited by hopper915

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Luke sums up the Sabres game and the Canes season quite bluntly.

http://www.newsobser...l#ixzz1IVjnnEjf

True words. Finishing in 9th place is similar to losing a lot of 1 goal games which the Canes also did. it means you're pretty good and better than some but not good enough to compete with the best and are missing maybe one piece to get you over the hump. I agree with Luke, ultimately payroll costs them being able to get over the hump. People can blame coaching, reffing or whatever they want but in order for a lower spending team to be able to compete consistently with the best teams, you have to spend more on payroll or catch lightning in a bottle. Never said it can't be done but its unlikely to happen.

I also feel bad for Cam Ward but he's such a team guy and would never let anyone know if he was frustrated. That said, with the experience they gain from however this season ends up, they have a lot of good to bring into next season. When the ownership situation gets settled, hopefully they'll invest a little more in the missing pieces.

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TSA,

You kind of beat me to the punch as I was writing. I thought you might not like my post, but it looks like we are on the same page:

Here are my thoughts:

The most honest and blunt line from Luke's piece:

But you have to get there first, and that isn’t easy with an undersized payroll. At this moment, Ward’s on top of his game, and yet he once again may be denied the opportunity to demonstrate that on the game’s biggest stage.

While I appreciate the determination and never quit attitude that this group brought this year, the ninth place finishes are getting a bit old. I know, I know the old "the alternative is to be dangerously bad for 4-5 years". That's a straw man distraction. The need to live in the basement for 4 years is for teams that don't already have Staal, Ward, Skinner, Ruttu, Jokinen, etc. The "partial rebuild" line is a bit disingenuous. This team had the key backbone to a a solid playoff team THIS YEAR. The reason we are not has little to do with rebuilding and a lot to do with conserving money. It was about getting through the year with a bare payroll and hoping for the best.

It amazes me how quickly fans on this board just accept that being super-cheap is the only alternative. I mention in another thread that the team could net ONE decent free agent next year and it's just accepted that "JR doesn't do that". Well he bettter, because this team, given our porous defense and anemic powerplay and utter inability to win faceoffs overacheived this year. Overachieved? Oh yes:

Cam Ward gives us several wins. Jeff Skinner arriving seriously early gave us a couple more. An almost baffling lack of injuries probably posted a couple more. This team's attitude and leadership is stellar and got us several points. If we go with this same basic team next year with no upgrades...9th will look good.

I wanted to see some serious moves made this year. There was lots of cap for it. JR is known for making nice little moves. But the year he brought us the cup was a culmination of a bunch of significant moves, not the least of which included adding Weight and Recci for the drive. Nearly every elite team out there has added key pieces through free-agency. They are not all ego and money driven prima-donnas.

I like our future, but I am really tired of this hoping to slide into the playoffs. Save one deep run, it has NOT worked out for us (the cup year we were loaded and finished 2nd (1 point from 1st), as a culmination of moves to get Whitney, Stillman, J. Willy, Cullen, and frankly even the trade for Brind'Amour. Those were solid moves. Making a bunch of nice little moves since the cup, has kept us out of the basement, which is good, but it has also led to all these 9th place finishes, and midround first picks.

We have an elite goalie. We have an elite first line center (other than faceoffs). We have an elite possible rookie of the year forward. We have a bunch of really solid pieces. NOW is the time to add one or two KEY free agents up front and a back and back up goalie. It is said that a team needs 4 All Stars to make a serious cup run. We have 3.

Fine this year is sacrificed at the alter of the "semi rebuild" cough* semi cheap" * cough.

But next year NEEDS to be a solid playoff year: 4th or higher. Will this exact same team bring that? Hmmm. What do you think?

Edited by remkin

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We're not that far off Remkin from each other's thoughts. As for this year, until we're mathematically out there's still some hope. Its not like the Rangers, or even the Sabres are world beaters right now, its just tougher when you can't control your own destiny (I'm beginning to dislike that cliche).

DJ, did you mean to post that in the "if an image could describe..." thread?

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We're not that far off Remkin from each other's thoughts. As for this year, until we're mathematically out there's still some hope. Its not like the Rangers, or even the Sabres are world beaters right now, its just tougher when you can't control your own destiny (I'm beginning to dislike that cliche).

DJ, did you mean to post that in the "if an image could describe..." thread?

TSA, nope, unfortunately I put it here because as the topic title says "Playoff picture" and it's not looking too good right now.,, but there is still that Chance we all get stuck with that needle and make it in!lol,,just trying to be lighthearted about our dismal outlook!!

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It sucks, but that article did hit the nail on the head. We've been a team that other than the Cup run have had to rely on a big end of the season run (or this year's inconsistent play throughout a season) to make the playoffs or come close to making them. We've got a lot of pieces, but we need another scoring winger, better wingers on the 3rd line with Sutter and a true top pairing defenseman.

If we don't feel like one of the young guys from Charlotte will be ready to contribute next year then I wouldn't mind shopping one or two of them in the offseason and going after those pieces we need. We're a relatively young team even without flooding our lineup with prospects hoping to make the jump next year and we need to capitalize on that with some seasons where we finish at least 5th or 4th. We have the talent to do that. We just don't have enough talent with Staal or enough scoring depth past our 2nd line.

I'm still hoping the playoffs happen. If the Rangers lose tonight then that's a possibility still, but I look at our lineup against the Sabres/Rangers/Canadiens and simply feel like we have far more pieces than they do to be in a much better position.

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We're not that far off Remkin from each other's thoughts. As for this year, until we're mathematically out there's still some hope. Its not like the Rangers, or even the Sabres are world beaters right now, its just tougher when you can't control your own destiny (I'm beginning to dislike that cliche).

True, I may be a little premature (though Luke started it). I have tried to stay positive and with what this team had to work with I am still fairly proud of them no matter what, but it is going to be a long shot now. That Saber's loss took our playoff chances down from nearly 50-50 to 20% in one bounce. So on a the idea that each team has a 50-50 chance to win each game, we are at a 1 in 5 shot. Maybe not quite a LONG shot, but pretty close.

And despite the Slugs and Rangers not being World beaters, they are 7-2-1 and 6-2-2 each over the last 10.

We need to make up 3 points vs. the Rangers as our best shot. We almost have to win out. Though with a Ranger let down 2-1-1 could get it done.

Never say never, that's why the cup is not completely empty. But yesterday it soundly flipped half empty.

Edited by remkin

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Apparently the Rangers wanted it much worse than we did...A remarkable comeback in the 3rd for a 5/3 win. Call the dogs and put out the fire...This hunt is over.

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The best write up I have come across from canescountry.

If the Canes go 3-0-0: They will finish with 93 points, and need one of the following things to happen:

  • The Rangers go 1-1-0 or worse (keeping in mind the Canes own the tiebreaker).
  • The Sabres go 1-2-0 or worse.
  • The Canadiens (yes, they're still in play if the Canes run the table) go 0-2-1 or worse. (The Habs own the tiebreaker over the Canes with 39 ROW.)

Still hope, but man, lady luck has not been on our side. I think the Canes marketing angered the hockey gods by sending out those emails about getting playoff tickets about a week ago...

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Last night's Rangers game was the kind of thing I was hoping beyond hope for from our boys.

Oh well.

That leaves a mark. The above post summarizes the situation nicely. The Canes needed that Rangers loss.

The Canes must win tomorrow. Geez, where have we heard that before?

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The Bruins/Rangers game last night was a back breaker. When I checked the score and saw the Bruins were up 3-0, I thought for a minute, there's the chance. Then the Bruins turned turtle and went into a defensive shell for the rest of the game and were outscored 5-0 in the final two periods. Chances are still there, but like Ich said, gotta run the table and hope one of the three teams above stumble from the pressure.

That being said, stranger things have happened the final week of the season. Look at last year, The Flyers got in by beating the Rangers in a shoot-out and eliminating them on the last game of the year.

Edited by hopper915

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Rangers announced today they've lost Ryan Callahan indefinitely with a broken ankle.

A key player for them.

Yeah I saw when he took a huge slap-shot from Charra,,hard to believe he got up and sort of skated off the ice with a broken ankle!!!

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Rangers announced today they've lost Ryan Callahan indefinitely with a broken ankle.

A key player for them.

but this also provides extra motivation for them

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tampa and sabres tied at 1.. sabres scored on 5-3.. i wonder how many 5-3 we had, and how many we scored on?? percentages cant be too good.. chitown-les habs a fast paced game no score in first, .. lets see if we get some help tonight, i think our best scenario is rangers going 1-1 last 2, and we get the last 3, never give up! Jimmy v

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You can see that I've been updating the page frequently tonight since We're Going Down the Stretch™. Tomorrow night, however... I might not be able to start frequent updates until late since I've been called upon to work tomorrow night. That means there's a good chance I won't get to start watching our game until after it starts... and since I obviously don't want to miss anything, I've got it recorded. So I might be able to catch up in time to watch it live, which would mean that frequent updates will happen all night. But yeah... long story short, tomorrow night is no longer a totally free night for me. As I mentioned before, Thursday and Friday night won't feature frequent updates by me until late (although Thursday really doesn't matter because there's not many games that night... you all know the one important game to us that night, anyway). Once we get to the weekend... as long as I'm home, I'll keep updating it constantly.

Edited by gocanes88

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The latest scenario for us (from canes country again)

After tonight, there are only four scenarios by which the Canes make the playoffs:

  • The Canes go 3-0-0 and the Rangers go either 1-1-0, 0-1-1 or 0-0-2.
  • The Canes go 3-0-0 and the Sabres go 0-2-0.
  • The Canes go 2-0-1 and the Rangers go 0-1-1 or worse.
  • The Canes go either 2-1-0 or 1-0-2 and the Rangers go 0-2-0.

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The latest scenario for us (from canes country again)

After tonight, there are only four scenarios by which the Canes make the playoffs:

  • The Canes go 3-0-0 and the Rangers go either 1-1-0, 0-1-1 or 0-0-2.
  • The Canes go 3-0-0 and the Sabres go 0-2-0.
  • The Canes go 2-0-1 and the Rangers go 0-1-1 or worse.
  • The Canes go either 2-1-0 or 1-0-2 and the Rangers go 0-2-0.

It hurts... I am losing faith... :\

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