Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eliminations to Date in the Playoff Pool

Remarkably, there have been a couple of online entries already submitted through the webpage already and only three teams have officially clinched their playoff spot.  Of course, the first few eliminations are going to be of teams that really had no shot at making the playoffs any ways, but it's good to look back at these teams, give out these little reminders.

The first team officially eliminated from playoff contention, mathematically, was the Edmonton Oilers, who are in the midst of their rebuild.  They are doing a good job trying to lock up the best odds in the lottery for this Summer's draft, but even if they don't win the lottery, they would still end up with either the number one or number two pick, so no big deal.  The way that they had played this year, you can see that there is a lot of wins on their horizon, thanks to some youthful exuberance.

Next up on the chopping block this year was the Colorado Avalanche, who couldn't quite keep up their early pace to the season. The Avalanche had an amazing run to start the year, giving the Canucks and Flames a great run for the Northwest Division title, but then the wheels really fell off, players were seemingly unhappy and losses started to pile up, which all eventually led to some major shake-up trades around the deadline.  It was a tough year for them, but with the right players in place going forward, they shouldn't be too far off.

Finally, another Canadian team bit the bullet, this time in the Eastern Conference, as the Ottawa Senators were the first East team to be eliminated.  It was far from a good year in Ottawa, as injuries really stacked up against the club and bounces certainly were not going their way through the year and they fell out quite quickly.  The word 'rebuild' has been thrown out there by GM Bryan Murray and with trading some key players out of town at the deadline, it does look very apparent that a new direction will be taken.

Only one team faces mathematical elimination tonight, as the St. Louis Blues would have to lose to the Edmonton Oilers in regulation and the Anaheim Ducks would have to beat Nashville Predators, preferably in regulation or overtime.

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