Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playoff Previews/Season Recaps

Here's a quick look at the upcoming playoff series for Round 1, the Conference Quarterfinals, including how each team faired during the regular season, and the season series record between the two teams in each matchup.


1 vs 8

Washington Capitals: 54-15-13, 121 points
Montreal Canadiens: 39-33-10, 88 points
Season Series: WSH 2-1-1, MTL 2-1-1

2 vs 7

New Jersey Devils: 48-27-7, 103 points
Philadelphia Flyers: 41-35-6, 88 points
Season Series: NJ 1-4-1, PHI 5-1-0

3 vs 6

Buffalo Sabres: 45-27-10, 100 points
Boston Bruins: 39-30-13, 91 points
Season Series: BUF 2-2-2, BOS 4-2-0

4 vs 5

Pittsburgh Penguins: 47-28-7, 101 points
Ottawa Senators: 44-32-6, 94 points
Season Series: PIT 2-2-0, OTT 2-2-0


1 vs 8

San Jose Sharks: 51-20-11, 113 points
Colorado Avalanche: 43-30-9, 95 points
Season Series: SJ 2-1-1, COL 2-2-0

2 vs 7

Chicago Blackhawks: 52-22-8, 112 points
Nashville Predators: 47-29-6, 100 points
Season Series: CHI 4-2-0, NSH 2-4-0

3 vs 6

Vancouver Canucks: 49-28-5, 103 points
Los Angeles Kings: 46-27-9, 101 points
Season Series: VAN 3-1-0, LA 1-2-1

4 vs 5

Phoenix Coyotes: 50-25-7, 107 points
Detroit Red Wings: 44-24-14, 102 points
Season Series: PHX 2-2-0, DET 2-0-2


Non-Playoff Teams Final Numbers

Eastern Conference:

9 New York Rangers: 38-33-11, 87 points
10 Atlanta Thrashers: 35-34-13, 83 points
11 Carolina Hurricanes: 35-37-10, 80 points
12 Tampa Bay Lightning: 34-36-12, 80 points
13 New York Islanders: 34-37-11, 79 points
14 Florida Panthers: 32-37-13, 77 points
15 Toronto Maple Leafs: 30-38-14, 74 points

Western Conference:

9 St Louis Blues: 40-32-10, 90 points
10 Calgary Flames: 40-32-10, 90 points
11 Anaheim Ducks: 39-32-11, 89 points
12 Dallas Stars: 37-31-14, 88 points
13 Minnesota Wild: 38-36-8, 84 points
14 Columbus Blue Jackets: 32-35-15, 79 points
15 Edmonton Oilers: 27-47-8, 62 points

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Playoff Matchups Set on Last Day of the Regular Season

The Flyers beat the Rangers in a shootout in the win-and-you're-in game in Philadelphia, the Capitals fall to Boston in a shootout, the Kings rally to beat Colorado in overtime, and Stamkos hits 51. Those recaps and the ones from every other game on this last day of the season to come tomorrow. But here's a quick look at the matchups for the upcoming playoffs:

Eastern Conference:

1 Washington Capitals vs 8 Montreal Canadiens
2 New Jersey Devils vs 7 Philadelphia Flyers
3 Buffalo Sabres vs 6 Boston Bruins
4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs 5 Ottawa Senators

Western Conference:

1 San Jose Sharks vs 8 Colorado Avalanche
2 Chicago Blackhawks vs 7 Nashville Predators
3 Vancouver Canucks vs 6 Los Angeles Kings
4 Phoenix Coyotes vs 5 Detroit Red Wings

Playoffs begin Wednesday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

B's, Habs Clinch; Devils Clinch Atlantic

Montreal clinches a spot in the East, New Jersey wins the Atlantic Division, L.A. rallies but falls, Stamkos hits 50, and Mike Modano plays what could be his last game in the NHL. But Saturday's Game of the Night will come from Boston, where the Bruins don't just clinch a playoff spot, but they do something never before seen in the NHL:

2 4

The Bruins had a chance to control their destiny tonight against Carolina, win and they're in. Well, they're in, and they did it in the most unexpected fashion.

The only important thing that happened in the 1st period was a hooking penalty against Bruins' Matt Hunwick with 18 seconds left in the period.

In the first 1:36 of the 2nd period while down a man on the Hunwick penalty, Boston would score 3-straight shorthanded goals. Daniel Paille 32 seconds into the period, Blake Wheeler 49 seconds later, and Steve Begin 15 seconds after that.

It was the 1st time in NHL history that a team scored 3 shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill and it was the fastest 3 shorthanded goals ever.

Erik Cole and Patrick Dwyer would tally later in the in the period for the Hurricanes to cut the lead to 3-2 after 2.

Boston would pack in the defense and hold onto the win, with Milan Lucic adding an empty net goal with 1 minute to play.

Cam Ward made 38 saves for Carolina while Tuukka Rask stopped 33 shots for Boston.

Carolina will end the year with 80 points, 11th in the East.

The win clinches a playoff spot for the Bruins and they will head into the playoffs as the 6 seed, facing either New Jersey or Buffalo in the first round. They will close out their season in Washington tomorrow at noon.


4 3 (SO)

The Kings haven't faired too well in matinee games this season, and their 3-0 deficit in the 3rd period may have shown that they came out flat again. But that wasn't nearly the case.

L.A. was outshooting Edmonton 39-13 after 2 periods but were down 2-0.

Mike Comrie scored for the Oilers in the 1st period and then again in the 2nd period on the power play.

Tom Gilbert would add a shorthanded goal for the Oilers 5:24 into the 3rd period to give Edmonton a 3-0 lead. The Oilers at that point had scored 3 goals on their first 14 shots of the game against Jonathan Quick. It took the Kings until their 46th shot of the game to put one past Devan Dubnyk.

The goal came from Dustin Brown on the power play 6:39 into the period. About 6 minutes later, Jarret Stoll cut the lead to 1. And then just a couple minutes after the Kings killed off a 5-on-3 advantage, Michal Handzus would tie it at 3 with 2:34 remaining in regulation.

The Kings outshot Edmonton 15-2 in the 3rd period, and the final total was 55-16.

Shawn Horcoff would net the game winner in the shootout after a scoreless overtime to give the last-place Oilers the 4-3 win.

In an unbelievable performance, Devan Dubnyk made 52 saves. Quick stopped 13 shots for the Kings.

The Oilers now have 62 points, last in the league, and will finish their season tomorrow in Anaheim.

The Kings point has them up to 99, and they are 7th in the West with 1 game left--tomorrow in Colorado. A win and a Red Wings loss (regulation or overtime) would give them the 5th-seed. An overtime loss would give them the 6th-seed if Detroit loses in regulation, and keep them the 7th-seed if the Red Wings get at least a point.


Maple Leafs 4 Canadiens 3 (OT)

Montreal's point in their last game of the season clinches them a playoff spot. They have 88 points and are 7th in the West. If the Flyers beat the Rangers tomorrow, Montreal will finish 8th and play the Capitals in Round 1. If the Rangers beat the Flyers, the Canadiens will remain 7th and play either Buffalo or New Jersey depending on the outcome of their game tomorrow. Toronto ends their season with 74 points, last in the East.

Sabres 5 Senators 2

Buffalo's win--led by a 4-goal night from Thomas Vanek--gives them 100 points on the year, and they are only 1 point behind the Devils for 2nd-place in the East. Those 2 teams play each other tomorrow. A Sabres' win in regulation will give them the 2-spot, while a Devils' win or any kind of overtime game will hand New Jersey the 2-spot. Ottawa will finish the season with 94 points, 5th in the East, and they will play Pittsburgh in the first round.

Islanders 1 Devils 7

New Jersey wins the Atlantic Division with their win combined with the Penguins' loss. The Devils have 101 points, 1 up on the Sabres for 2nd in the East. The 2-spot will be determined tomorrow depending on the outcome of their game versus Buffalo. New York has 78 points and are 12th in the East. They finish their season tomorrow at home against Pittsburgh.

Penguins 0 Thrashers 1

Atlanta plays spoiler, shutting out the Penguins, and ending their season with 83 points, 10th in the East. Pittsburgh has 99 points, and they are now locked into the 4-spot and will face the 5th-place Senators in the first round.

Panthers 3 Lightning 4 (SO)

Tampa Bay's 20-year-old Steven Stamkos scores his 49th and 50th goals of the season, tying Alex Ovechkin for the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy for most goals. Sidney Crosby has 49 goals. All 3 will be in action on the final day of the season tomorrow. Tampa Bay and Florida face each other again tomorrow in Sunrise to end the season, while the Lightning have 78 points, 13th-place, and the Panthers have 77 points, 14th-place.

Blues 1 Predators 2 (SO)

Nasvhille gives themselves 100 points on the year in their final game of the season. They sit 6th in the West, and can still finish 5th, 6th, or 7th even though they don't have any games left. It all depends on what the 5th-place Red Wings and the 7th-place Kings do tomorrow. St Louis finishes their year with 90 points, 9th in the West.

Stars 4 Wild 3 (SO)

Dallas beats Minnesota in what could be Mike Modano's final game of his career if he decides to retire. The Wild fans gave him a great ovation after the game, as he skated around wearing a Minnesota North Stars jersey, the team with which he began his career. The Stars will end the season with 88 points, and they sit 11th in the West. Minnesota ends with 84 points, 13th in the West.

Flames 3 Canucks 7

Vancouver dismantles their Northwest Division rivals to end their season with 103 points. They are locked in the 3-spot in the West, and will play either Detroit, Nashville, or L.A. in the first round. Calgary finishes with 90 points, 10th in the West.

Coyotes 2 Sharks 3 (SO)

San Jose finishes their season with 113 points, and they sit 1st in the Western Conference, 2 points up on Chicago. If the Blackhawks win tomorrow though, they will win the West and the Sharks will be the 2-seed. With that in mind, the Sharks and Blackhawks have a chance to play Detroit, Nashville, L.A., or Colorado, all depending on what happens tomorrow. Phoenix is locked in the 4-spot, as they end their year with 107 points. They also will play either Detroit, Nashville, or L.A. in the first round.


Sunday's Schedule (Last Day of the Regular Season):

Bruins @ Capitals, 12:00, NBC
Rangers @ Flyers, 3:00, NHL Network (winner gets final East playoff spot)
Red Wings @ Blackhawks, 3:00
Kings @ Avalanche, 3:00, FS West
Sabres @ Devils, 5:00
Penguins @ Islanders, 5:00, NHL Network
Lightning @ Panthers, 5:00
Oilers @ Ducks, 8:00, Prime Ticket