Monday, January 31, 2011

the chase is on for the playoffs

yeah...i mean, YEAAAAHHHH!!!!...thursday, a sabres press conference in regards to the upcoming sale...

welcome terry pegula and your passion for hockey--not to mention your deep wallet ; )...

but...there are still games to be played in the month of february...with boston in control of the northeast division right now, somewhat out of reach for the sabres, time to look towards a climb into the playoffs...

buffalo's in that "bubble-mix" right now, six points out of a playoff spot sitting in 10th place...

the 7th thru 11th place teams in the eastern conference:
  • montreal--59 points
  • atlanta--57
  • carolina--56
  • buffalo--51
  • florida--49

here's a look at the upcoming schedules for all five of those teams broken down into opponents as division leaders, playoff teams and non-playoff teams (as of january 31):

montreal, 13 games:
  • division leaders (2)--boston, vancouver
  • playoff teams (2)--washington, nyr
  • non-playoff teams (9)--florida, nj, toronto (2,) nyi, buffalo, edmonton, calgary, carolina
atlanta, 11 games:
  • division leaders--none
  • playoff teams (2)--nyr, phoenix
  • non-playoff teams (9)--nyi, calgary, carolina (2,) toronto (2,) edmonton, buffalo, florida
carolina, 13 games:
  • division leaders (4)--boston, philadelphia (2,) tampa bay
  • playoff teams (5)--atlanta (2,) nyr, pittsburgh, montreal
  • non-playoff teams (4)--toronto, nj (3)
buffalo, 12 games:
  • division leaders (2)--tampa bay, detroit
  • playoff teams (4)--pittsburgh, montreal, washington, atlanta
  • non-playoff teams (6)--toronto (2,) florida, nyi, st. louis, ottawa
florida, 13 games:
  • division leaders (3)--philladelphia, detroit, tampa bay
  • playoff teams (3)--montreal, san jose, atlanta
  • non-playoff teams (7)--toronto, nj (2,) st louis, buffalo, nyi, ottawa

taking a look at this, montreal could solidify their place in the standings with their schedule...atlanta has a rather weak schedule, but they play four crucial games vs. non-playoff teams around them in the standings...

carolina's got a real tough month...only four non-playoff teams out of 13...not only that, nj, who they play three times went into the all-star break on a tear going 6-1-1 in their last eight...

florida has a middle-of-the-road schedule, but will need to make up ground vicariously as they play only one game vs. teams they're trying to catch...

and, as for the sabres? behooves them match last month's record if they want to gain ground and possibly climb into the playoff mix...

two points by any means necessary, should be the rallying cry...

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