The right teams keep winning, and they keep doing it in regulation time. With the more-likely-out-of-the-picture Leafs beating the closest-to-breaking-in Hurricanes in regulation last night, here's what our little corner of the standings looks like right now:
7. NEW YORK RANGERS - 78 pts, 11 GR
8. Buffalo - 76 pts, 12 GR
9. Carolina - 74 pts, 11 GR
10. Toronto - 72 pts, 11 GR
11. New Jersey - 70 pts, 13 GR
12. Atlanta - 70 pts, 12 GR
(Atlanta is included mostly because I have a soft spot for them: they've got a hell of a hill to climb.) This is a 4-point cushion over 9th place right now, which is a more comfortable place to be than the one we've been in the last couple of weeks. We're back to well in command of our own destiny, and if we can get another few gifts and win another few games, we might even earn ourselves "breathing room," which is a thing I've read about: apparently some teams don't spend the last week of the season scrambling to make it into 8th. Sounds cool, right?
Anyway, here's a thing I might continue doing: looking at what this same set of standings would be if we used a sane point system. I think it might be fun to watch the ending scramble to get into the playoffs as it should be, while comparing it to what actually happens in the crazy land of bad math that is Bettman's NHL. Comment if you have an opinion one way or another about whether or not this remains interesting.
7. NEW YORK RANGERS - 68 pts, 11 GR
8. Carolina - 65 pts, 11 GR
9. New Jersey - 64 pts, 13 GR
10. Buffalo - 64 pts, 12 GR
11. Toronto - 63 pts, 11 GR
12. Atlanta - 62 pts, 12 GR
No commentary on that from me for now. Draw your own conclusions. I'll probably keep showing this.
Oh, right! Tonight's games! Flyers at Atlanta, Devils at Ottawa, Leafs at Florida, and if you're still crazy enough to think we can catch the Habs (who have 5 points and a game-in-hand on us), the Lightning are in Montréal. Also some other hockey: there are 11 NHL games tonight. If you've got nothing to do, sit at home and watch hockey!