Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thursday's Effect on the Playoff Picture

There are two games on Thursday that should decide the Eastern Conference depending on how the chips fall. The Canadiens are in the Big Apple to take on the Rangers and the Leafs are on Long Island to face the Islanders. The Lightning are idle on Thursday night and will have to wait and see what they're up against on Friday night.

Any Islanders loss in regulation will eliminate them from any contention of 8th spot in the East. An Islander loss in overtime could eliminate them if the Habs and Rangers go to overtime. An Islander win and a Canadiens win and that should eliminate the Islanders as well.

A Ranger win will clinch a spot for the blueshirts. They'll finish the night with 94 points and that will be far enough out of reach from the Maple Leafs.

I know what you're thinking... can the Leafs be eliminated as well? A Toronto loss in regulation and a Montreal win will indeed solve the Eastern Conference eight teams.

Any combination of a Flames win or an Avalanche loss will solve the Western puzzle. The Avalanche will head into Vancouver to take on the division-leading Canucks, while the Flames will go to San Jose to face the Sharks. The Avalanche will still need regulation decisions in their favour to beat out the Flames, but hopes are dwindling as the Avs are winning.

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