Friday, March 07, 2008


Friday Baseball Standings

Last Friday, the Sharks were 3 games back of the Stars. In the week since, they've won 4 games; the Stars only played 2, and lost them both (B. Richards: 0-0-0, -3).

Also, check out 4th thru 9th in the West: a nifty little half-game separating each team. What do we know for sure at this point? Not too much:
I think I'm OK writing off the Coyotes at this point; the remainder of the schedule is heavy with division games, and while I grant that they have done much better in Pacific games this season, it's simply too strong for them to get on a significant roll. Add to that, from the "Saw Them Bad" file, they have been massively outchanced every time I've watched them this year.

Chicago, on the other hand, still has a chance: if they can outpoint the Preds in their 2 H2H games; do as well in their 3 v DET as Nashville does in their 4 v DET; and rack up some wins in their 5 vs CBJ & STL (as well as home games v. EDM, CAR, & WSH); then I think they probably make it. One of the four NW teams presently in the playoffs is probably going to drop out due to the numerous H2H games, and there should be a spot for the Preds or Hawks.

Plus: it's been noted here that the Hawks goal differential is better than their record, and it's been noted by Vic that their goalpost luck has been lousy too. In other words, the underlying numbers say that Chicago is a decent team, and have the quality needed to win a bunch of games here if they start getting some good luck, or even simply stop getting the bad kind.

[Sidebar: check out the concluding comments of that IOF post. Vic says, "...the Rangers, Blackhawks and Hurricanes have a genuine beef with the goalpost gods." Combined record of NYR, CAR, and CHI (excluding a Rags-Canes game) since he posted that: 14-2-1.]

In the EC, you can probably X out everyone from the Islanders down. Making up 3 or more games on the eight-seed with only 15 left (and teams to pass) is not even a good longshot bet. Buffalo and Washington -- both 1.5 games back of the teams they are chasing -- are holding on, but are in a position where a 2-game losing streak could be fatal to their hopes.

Last thing: the difference between the two conferences, if you want to compare them, is 5.5 games. Add 5.5 to the GBL of an EC team to see where they'd be in the WC, subtract 5.5 going the other way. Note that Ottawa and Calgary are tied -- at the end of November, the Sens were 6.5 games ahead of the Flames. Yep, it's a long season.

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