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lordstanley

Playoff Watch Thread: Extend The 22-Year Streak

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We had a happy ending to a similarly-titled thread last year:

http://www.motownsports.com/forums/detroit-red-wings/100244-playoff-watch-thread-extend-21-year-streak.html

But I don't believe even as its lowest point last season the odds were against the Wings more than they are today:

Reasons To Despair

The Injury-Ravaged Lineup - Don't expect the Wings to ride Cup-hardened veterans to a playoff spot as if it's a fan's birthright - Kronwall and Franzen are the only healthy core players this year from the 2008 and 2009 runs

All But Locked In To No Higher Than 8th - Even with games in hand, the Wings aren't going to make up 7 or 8 points in 15 games on the Bolts, Habs or Leafs

Gap Between The Wings And A Playoff Spot - Even with a win tonight, the Wings would still be shy in the points race of the final playoff spot. 3 behind Columbus and NYR, 4 behind Philly

Other Teams In The Mix - It's not just the Wings chasing the above-mentioned Columbus, NYR or Philly for a spot. The Caps have more points than the Wings, although the Wings have a better record given the 2 games in hand. New Jersey and Ottawa are still close enough to the Wings' rear view mirror, although frankly, if NJ and Ottawa pass the Wings it will be because the Wings record the rest of the way is so poor they wouldn't be catching CBJ, NYR or Philly anyways

The Schedule - Almost all opponents are playoff teams. 8 home, 7 road. 12 against playoff teams, with the exceptions being 2 against Buffalo and 1 against Carolina

No Saviour in Net - Howard's having an off year. He hasn't shown any indication he will steal games down the stretch

Inability to Hold Leads - The Wings need wins outright especially against teams with whom they're battling for a spot, but the way they cough up goals late (minus 20 goal differential in the 3rd period for example) opponents are likely to at least pick up loser points

Down In The Tiebreaker - Except for Toronto, who are beyond reach anyways, the Wings are well below in ROWs the teams they're fighting with, except for Washington

Reasons For Hope

Collapse By 1 Team Is Enough - Assuming the Wings hold off Ottawa, Washington and NJ, they just need to beat out one of CBJ, NYR or Philly, not all of them

Still Largely Control Destiny - Being down 3 to NYR with 2 games in hand is pretty close to being tied.

Prognosis

I'm not optimistic. In fact, I could see the Wings being all but out of it in a week or so. Lose tonight even, and with the wrong results on the out-of-town scoreboard the Wings could be 5 back by tomorrow morning. In this day and age of 3 point games, such a deficit would be a mountain. Honestly, I don't expect this to be much of a race or it to be close - if I had to bet my life on it, I'd say not only will the Wings miss but they'll be officially eliminated with a few games to go. I'm not giving up though and I'll watch to the end, even if it turns out to be a bitter end.

National Hockey League Playoff Chances - Sports Club Stats

Edited by lordstanley

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We had a happy ending to a similarly-titled thread last year:

http://www.motownsports.com/forums/detroit-red-wings/100244-playoff-watch-thread-extend-21-year-streak.html

But I don't believe even as its lowest point last season the odds were against the Wings more than they are today:

Reasons To Despair

The Injury-Ravaged Lineup - Don't expect the Wings to ride Cup-hardened veterans to a playoff spot as if it's a fan's birthright - Kronwall and Franzen are the only healthy core players this year from the 2008 and 2009 runs

All But Locked In To No Higher Than 8th - Even with games in hand, the Wings aren't going to make up 7 or 8 points in 15 games on the Bolts, Habs or Leafs

Gap Between The Wings And A Playoff Spot - Even with a win tonight, the Wings would still be shy in the points race of the final playoff spot. 3 behind Columbus and NYR, 4 behind Philly

Other Teams In The Mix - It's not just the Wings chasing the above-mentioned Columbus, NYR or Philly for a spot. The Caps have more points than the Wings, although the Wings have a better record given the 2 games in hand. New Jersey and Ottawa are still close enough to the Wings' rear view mirror, although frankly, if NJ and Ottawa pass the Wings it will be because the Wings record the rest of the way is so poor they wouldn't be catching CBJ, NYR or Philly anyways

The Schedule - Almost all opponents are playoff teams. 8 home, 7 road. 12 against playoff teams, with the exceptions being 2 against Buffalo and 1 against Carolina

No Saviour in Net - Howard's having an off year. He hasn't shown any indication he will steal games down the stretch

Inability to Hold Leads - The Wings need wins outright especially against teams with whom they're battling for a spot, but the way they cough up goals late (minus 20 goal differential in the 3rd period for example) opponents are likely to at least pick up loser points

Down In The Tiebreaker - Except for Toronto, who are beyond reach anyways, the Wings are well below in ROWs the teams they're fighting with, except for Washington

Reasons For Hope

Collapse By 1 Team Is Enough - Assuming the Wings hold off Ottawa, Washington and NJ, they just need to beat out one of CBJ, NYR or Philly, not all of them

Still Largely Control Destiny - Being down 3 to NYR with 2 games in hand is pretty close to being tied.

Prognosis

I'm not optimistic. In fact, I could see the Wings being all but out of it in a week or so. Lose tonight even, and with the wrong results on the out-of-town scoreboard the Wings could be 5 back by tomorrow morning. In this day and age of 3 point games, such a deficit would be a mountain. Honestly, I don't expect this to be much of a race or it to be close - if I had to bet my life on it, I'd say not only will the Wings miss but they'll be officially eliminated with a few games to go. I'm not giving up though and I'll watch to the end, even if it turns out to be a bitter end.

I didn't get the people that were talking about tanking for whatever reason...minus trading the good players that is...I get that, but this is a big streak IMO. I want it to continue. It does not look promising, but I am still holding out hope.

Thanks for the break down.

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I'd rather reach the playoffs in a future year with a good group of young players than trying to keep a streak alive with essentially no chance of winning the Cup and a core older players that have no future with the team.

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Key Games Tuesday March 18

Carolina at Columbus - Go Canes. Canes lead 2-0 with 5 minutes to go in 2nd

NYR at Ottawa - Go Sens. Sens lead 2-1 early in the 2nd

Chicago at Philadelphia - Want the Flyers to lose here. 2-2 after 1.

Avs at Habs - Barely even worth tracking, but an Avs win would be preferable. Avs lead 1-0 early in 2nd

Washington at Anaheim - Need the Ducks to win the late game.

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Tuesday March 18 Quick Recap

Big 2 points in regulation for the Wings over a team above them that might be back on the radar if barely so (Leafs 5 points up, Wings have 2 games in hand, 1 head-to-head remaining in Toronto, tiebreaker still could go either way). But with respect to the Wings' chances to make the playoffs, the win may have been offset or worse by the loss of Ericsson a top pairing defenseman.

Loss by Columbus to Carolina in regulation was the pleasant surprise by the night. The Rangers explosive win over Ottawa was a bummer but at least it served the purpose of all but knocking Ottawa out of contention. Sucks when top teams like Anaheim and Washington drop points to teams we're chasing. We're not going to catch Montreal, no need really to track them going forward.

And while irrelevant to the playoff race, it's worth noting that Luongo and Florida beat SJ 3-2 in a 51-save effort last night, which included SJ outshooting the Panthers by an incredible 29-2 margin in the 3rd period yet only scoring once.

Key Games Wednesday March 19

Only one that's relevant is Tampa at Toronto. Cheering for Tampa all the way. At 6 points up with the same number of games played as Detroit, the Bolts are out of reach of the Wings. Leafs are a different story - regulation loss tonight by Toronto and they'd be 5 up but with the Wings having 3 games in hand. I expect the Leafs to win in regulation tonight however.

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I watched the Ducks/Caps game and was actually rooting for the Ducks and they didn't even win. I hate that team so much.

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Wednesday March 19 Quick Recap

The one game of the night went the Wings way, as the Leafs lost in Tampa to regulation. With the Leafs 5 points up on Detroit but with the Wings having 3 games in hand, Toronto is definitely back in play. Especially if the Wings could surprise us with a point or tonight and if injured Leafs goalie Bernier is out a bit longer.

Key Games Thursday March 20

Pittsburgh at Detroit - Wings seem overmatched in this one, but I hope whatever funk caused the Pens to lose back to back games versus Philly this past weekend lingers. I'd be thrilled with 1 point.

Columbus at Montreal - Most important out-of-town game of the night, IMO. Go Habs. An unlikely Wings win and a Jackets regulation loss and a Caps loss would put the Wings back in a playoff position

Wasihngton at LA - A road game against a strong Western team would seem to be a great chance to have one of our competitors drop points, but hasn't always worked out that way recently

Dallas at Philly - Flyers would be hard for the Wings to pass (Flyers 4 points up, same games played, Flyers with an insurmountable Regulation-OvertimeWins tiebreaker edge). Go Stars

Minnesota at NJ- Devils are barely still a factor, as they're 4 back of the Wings with the Wings having a game in hand, but I'd like Minnesota to throw more dirt on them

Tampa at Ottawa - Tampa's 8 points up on Detroit (Wings have 1 game in hand) and Ottawa is 6 points back of Detroit (same games played) so this game likely won't have a huge impact on our playoff chances. I've given up on catching Tampa, especially with Stamkos lighting it up upon his return. Go Bolts, don't give the Sens any life

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Tonight's game was better than basketball. Personally I enjoy this more as a fan. Being in the east and fighting for the playoffs in games against the likes of the leafs and penguins rather than Nashville or a game in Anaheim or Phoenix. Much better.

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How are their prospects looking now after the win?

Much better. When I cool down after this high I'll still probably consider it to be under 50%. But man, after tonight's thrill, who would ever give up on them. Remember in the fall when I and others were saying that we'd enjoy the Wings winning with old guys or being mediocre with young guys, but we couldn't stand being mediorce with old guys. Well, what we wanted is what we got, for good or for bad. This is 1/2 AHL team with huge exposure especially on defense, but the Wings are still in the hunt.

Columbus, Philly and NJ all won tonight in regulation. Ottawa loses in regulation so that probably buries them. Wings gain of course on idle Toronto and NYR. Will pay attention to the late game, hoping that the Caps lose to stay behind the Wings. While a point behind the 2nd wildcard team, NYR, I'd say that with a game in hand we're essentially tied with the Rangers.

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Friday March 21 Quick Recap

Main hope in the CBJ-NYR game was an avoidance of a 3-pointer. Fortunately the Rangers won it in regulation with a couple of late goals. Wings now 3 back of NYR with 2 games in hand and 1 back of CBJ with 1 game in hand

Key Games Saturday March 22

Detroit at Minnesota - start of a weekend home & home. Need at least 2 points from this, probably 3 in order to not lose ground

St. Louis at Philadelphia - someone needs to cool off Philly. They're 4 up on Detroit after the same number of games played

Montreal at Toronto- Go Habs Go. If the Wings were to win today a Habs loss in regulation wouldn't be horrible, as then Montreal would be back in reach. But a Toronto regulation loss is the strong preference

New York Rangers at New Jersey - Cheering for the Devils to keep the Rangers close to the Wings. Brunner a healthy scratch for 2nd straight game; he turned 28 this month and with 10 goals and 21 points in 49 games he's nothing special after all

Washington at San Jose - Caps wrap up a California trio of games and have done too well so far, beating the Ducks and getting a point from LA. If they pick up anything tonight they'll be thrilled with that trip and will be a disappointment to Detroit fans

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What's the wild card?

Top 3 each teams in each of the 4 divisions qualify, filling 12 of the 16 spots. Next 2 teams in each of the 2 conference take the last 4 spots. Just means thar one division might send 5 teams in while the conference's other division sends only 3.

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Saturday March 22 Quick Recap

Detroit at Minnesota - Big road win. The Playoff Chances site linked to in this thread's original post now lists the Wings at 66.5%. I'd put it in the low-50s. In a nutshell, and assuming Tampa, Montreal and Philly won't be caught by Detroit and New Jersey won't catch Detroit, the Wings need to finish ahead of 2 of the following teams: NYR, Toronto, Columbus, Washington. Wings are 3 back of NYR but with 2 games in hand. Wings are 1 back of Toronto but with 2 games in hand. Wings are tied with Washington but with 2 games in hand. Wings are 1 up on Columbus with same number of games played.

St. Louis at Philadelphia - Philly just keeps on winning

Montreal at Toronto- 3 pointer avoided. Leafs losing in regulation, as they did, was the best result. If one wanted to be aggressive, aiming for a top 3 division spot to avoid Boston or Pittsburgh in the 1st round, a Montreal win would have put the Habs within reach at 4 points up with the Wings having 2 games in hand. Instead, with the win the Habs moved 6 points up but that's OK - my main priority is the Wings making the playoffs.

New York Rangers at New Jersey - NYR wins in regulation. Rangers still just 3 points up on Detroit with the Wings having 2 games in hand, so barely ahead of the Wings on a PointsPerGame (PPG) basis. Devils' hopes hanging by a thread now, 6 points back of Detroit

Washington at San Jose - Washington wins in a SO. Not only survived the tough California road trip but thrived. Tied with the Wings but the Wings have 2 games in hand and the Wings have a lead in the tiebreaker.

Key Games Sunday March 23

Minnesota at Detroit - Don't sag, don't be content with a split. The Wings will know by this evening's gametime how Columbus did today

Columbus at NYI - Matinee going on now. This is a game you'd think the Jackets should win, so NYI holding them to a point somehow would be satisfactory

Toronto at NJD - Cheering for the Devils. Leafs are reeling and face St. Louis and Philly after this, but they've been streaky in both directions all season so you never know with them.

Edited by lordstanley

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Bonus! Columbus loses 2-0. Thank you Islanders! If the Wings can win tonight and then go into Columbus on Tuesday and win in regulation, suddenly the Wings would have a 5 pt bulge over Columbus.

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GO WINGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chaz!! Welcome back, it has been awhile since one of your "Scorreeee" calls.

Leafs lose. Wings can pass them with a win.

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