JohnTavares 

 

 

 

Miller finishes up his look at the East playoff race, with Isles, Sabres, Flyers and Jets 

 

With the regular season rapidly winding down, only three Eastern Conference teams can say with much certainty that they will make the playoffs - Pittsburgh, Montreal and Boston.  Conversely, only three teams have all but mathematically eliminated themselves from playoff contention - Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida.

This week (in two parts - you can take a look at the first part here), we'll take a closer look at which of the remaining nine Eastern Conference teams have a real shot at punching one of the five available tickets to the post-season dance or are just pretenders this year. Below is a table of the Eastern Conference standings. I've added games remaining because I hate to do math - simple subtraction drives me to distraction.

 

 

 

Team

GP

GR

Pts

L10

Record vs Remain

GF

GA

1

Pittsburgh

39

9

58

8-2-0

-

-

-

2

Montreal

38

10

55

6-3-1

-

-

-

3

Washington

39

9

42

8-1-1

9-8-0

49

45

4

Boston

38

10

54

6-3-1

-

-

-

5

Toronto

39

9

48

7-1-2

14-5-0

63

47

6

Ottawa

38

10

44

5-5-0

5-9-4

36

50

7

NY Rangers

39

9

42

4-4-2

9-5-1

42

34

8

NY Islanders

39

9

42

6-3-1

7-7-3

52

59

9

New Jersey

39

9

40

2-4-4

8-5-5

41

40

10

Winnipeg

40

8

40

3-7-0

9-10-0

45

65

11

Buffalo

39

9

38

6-2-2

10-8-1

49

48

12

Philadelphia

38

10

37

5-3-2

9-9-1

49

55

13

Carolina

38

10

34

1-9-0

-

-

-

14

Tampa Bay

38

10

34

4-5-1

-

-

-

15

Florida

39

9

32

6-4-0

-

-

-

 

 

 

 

New York Islanders

The team has been bad for so long, I just can't see them making a push to get into the playoffs. Realistically, their odds are probably around 50-50. They have done well going 6-3-1 over their last 10 games and are sitting in a 42 point tie for 7th with the Rangers. Although they sit 9th in NHL scoring, they lack second line punch and they allow over three goals against per game. I have no confidence in this team to close the deal.

 

vs

PHI

BOS

NYR

FLA

TOR

WPG

CAR

BUF

Totals

GR

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

9

Record

1-1-0

0-2-0

1-1-1

2-0-0

1-0-1

1-0-1

0-2-0

1-1-0

7-7-3

GF

4

3

6

7

11

9

6

6

52

GA

10

8

9

3

9

7

10

3

59

The most under-rated superstar in the league has 40 points in 39 games. John Tavares has 18 points in 17 games against the teams he will face down the stretch. He especially likes playing Winnipeg and Carolina, who he has lit up for nine points in four games this year.

Josh Bailey has five points in four April contests. He has four points in five games against Boston, Toronto, Winnipeg and Carolina. He has nothing in eight matches versus the remaining teams on the schedule.

It's telling that Brad Boyes has 11 points in 10 games against Florida, Toronto, Winnipeg, Carolina and Buffalo and only one point in seven games against the Flyers, Bruins and Rangers.

It's interesting to note that nine of Casey Cizikas' 14 points have come in 15 games against the teams the Islander have left on the schedule. That means that he has five points in his other 21 games.

Michael Grabner has no points in five games against Boston, Florida and Carolina. He does have seven points in 11 games against the rest of the upcoming schedule.

Andrew MacDonald isn't a big scorer, but four of his nine points have come against Florida and Toronto in four games. Overall, he has nine points in 39 games this year.

Matt Moulson had 17 points in 17 games against teams the Islanders have left to play. He has 37 points in 38 games, playing mostly with Tavares.

Frans Nielsen has eight points in his last nine games and 12 points over the last 15 games. He has seven points in eight games against the Panthers, Maple Leafs, Jets and Canes, but nothing in nine games against the rest of the teams remaining.

Kyle Okposo has five points in four games against Toronto and Florida, but not much else against the rest of the schedule.

Mark Streit has 21 points in 39 games, 10 of them coming in 17 games against the teams he will play to close the season.

 

 

 

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres have made a nice push, going 6-2-2 over their last 10 games, but losing Jason Pominville, Robyn Regehr and Jordan Leopold will prove to be too much. They would also have to jump over three teams in the standings, no easy trick with the loser point in play. Buffalo would also need Thomas Vanek to come back and produce at about the same rate he has all season. These guys will finish in ninth place in the East.

 

vs

WPG

MTL

PHI

TB

BOS

NYR

PIT

NYI

Totals

GR

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

9

Record

0-1-0

3-1-0

1-1-0

1-1-0

2-2-0

1-0-1

1-1-0

1-1-0

10-7-1

GF

1

11

7

3

12

5

7

3

49

GA

2

13

5

3

11

3

5

6

48

 

Thomas Vanek seriously needs to get healthy down the stretch for the team to have a chance at the playoffs. Of the remaining teams on the schedule, only the Jets have blanked Vanek (one game). Against the other teams left to play, he has 22 points in 15 games. That said, how will he come back from his upper-body injury?  He's worth the risk.

Christian Ehrhoff has five points in six games against Boston and Pittsburgh.

Tyler Ennis has a thing for Montreal and Boston, recording 10 points in eight games.

Marcus Foligno has six points in 10 games versus the Canadiens, Bruins and Rangers.

Cody Hodgson has a point against every team Buffalo plays until the end of the season. He has 14 points in 19 games when lining up against those teams.

Steve Ott has eight points in as many games against Montreal, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia this season. He is also currently on a three game point streak. This guy has added value if your league counts penalty minutes.

Andrej Sekera has six points in six games versus the Flyers, Rangers, Bolts and Pens.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

As much as I think this team might be a dark horse to make the playoffs, something tells me that this is just not their year. Too many injuries. The Flyers offense is better than average, but they allow 3.05 goals-against per game. They are five points back of the eighth and final playoff spot and would have to leap four teams to do it. They have the horses to make it happen, but it's just not their year.

 

vs

NYI

OTT

BUF

MTL

NYR

NJ

CAR

BOS

Totals

GR

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

10

Record

1-0-1

1-0-0

1-1-0

1-1-0

1-3-0

1-3-0

2-0-0

1-1-0

9-9-1

GF

10

2

5

6

7

7

9

3

49

GA

4

1

7

7

12

14

6

4

55

 

Claude Giroux has 15 points in 14 games against the Isles, Sabres, Rangers, Devils and Hurricanes. Overall, he has 37 points in 38 games on the season. If the Flyers are to make the post-season, it will be on the back on Giroux.

Sean Couturier has five points in his last five games, but only 12 points in 36 games on the season. Against the teams on the remaining schedule, he has six points in 19 games.

Ruslan Fedotenko has a five game point streak on the go. In seven games against Boston, Montreal, Ottawa and Buffalo, he has four points. That point streak is an illusion and it will be gone as soon as the Flyers next game.

Matt Read has five points in his last six games. He has 11 points in 12 games against the Islanders, Canadiens, Devils, Hurricanes and Bruins.

Brayden Schenn went a little crazy in February, scoring 16 points in 15 games. He has 22 points in 37 games on the season. Schenn has nine points in nine games versus the Isles, Sens, Habs, Canes and Bruins this year.

Wayne Simmonds has 25 points in 35 games. Outside of three scoreless efforts against Carolina and Boston, Simmonds has an impressive 14 points in 15 games against the rest of the Flyers opponents remaining this season. He also contributes penalty minutes if your league values them.

Kimmo Timonen has eight points in eight games against the Sabres, Rangers and Canes, but no points in nine games versus the Isles, Sens, Devils and Bruins. He has a very good 24 points in 38 games (52 point pace) this campaign.

Hands up if you thought Jakub Voracek would be leading the Flyers in points with 10 games remaining in the season. Liars! His 38 points in 38 games make for a nice, but not completely unexpected breakout season. Against the Flyers remaining opponents, Voracek has 21 points in 19 games.

 

Winnipeg Jets

Not this year Jets fans. They have the least amount of games remaining and are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games; definitely not a great trend if you want to make the playoffs. That goals-for/goals-against ratio against their remaining opponents of 45/65 is telling.

 

vs

BUF

FLA

TB

CAR

NYI

WSH

MTL

Totals

GR

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

8

Record

1-0-0

2-2-0

2-1-0

2-1-0

1-1-0

1-3-0

0-2-0

9-10-0

GF

2

10

8

9

7

5

4

45

GA

1

14

11

7

9

15

8

65

 

Bryan Little has a point against all the teams the Jets have left to play except for the Caps. In the other 15 games, he has 11 points, including five in three games against Tampa Bay.

Dustin Byfuglien only has one point over his last 10 games. Against the remaining opponents this season, he has eight points in 16 games. He has 21 points in 35 games and will need to put up some big numbers if the Jets are going to play themselves into a playoff spot.

Although Tobias Enstrom is pointless over his last six games, he still has 15 points in 21 games, a 59 point pace over 82 games. In games this season against his remaining opponents, Enstrom has 12 points in 11 games.

Evander Kane has nine points in six games against the Sabres, Hurricanes and Isles. Will the budding young star show up in the final eight games?  Count on it, he's money.

Andrew Ladd should finish very strong. He has logged 16 points in 19 games against the teams left to play.

In his 10 games against Florida, Tampa Bay and Carolina, Blake Wheeler has nine points.

 

To summarize, I see Washington winning their division, Toronto, Ottawa, New York Rangers and New Jersey making the playoffs with Philadelphia, Buffalo, Winnipeg and the Islanders on the outside looking in. It will be fun to see how it all shakes out, but no matter what, it's going to go right down to the wire for those last couple of playoff seeds.

 

 

Part 1 - Maple Leafs, Rangers, Islanders, Devils and Senators

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Write comment
Comments (4)add comment

Russ Miller said:

The Comish
... Thanks for your kind words gentlemen.
April 10, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

April 09, 2013
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
Shake Out
Interesting for sure. Thanks for the enjoyable read.
April 09, 2013
Votes: +0

cbergeron said:

cbergeron
... The Islanders are playing with confidence right now. Nabokov holds the key as to whether or not this team makes the playoffs.
April 09, 2013
Votes: +0
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.

busy