Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Three Games, Three Teams

The math is coming into focus more sharply…

If the Caps win out, that is, get six points to reach 94, either Boston or Philadelphia must be held to no more than two points in their last three games. In that instance, the Caps would finish with 94 points and their closest pursuer with 93.

So, when was the last time either of Boston or Philly achieved only two points or fewer in three games?

Boston: Well, it’s not that long ago. March 16-22 they played the Caps and a home and home against Montreal, losing all of them, two of them in a shootout. They also did it shortly before that – March 9-13 – losing all three games to Ottawa, the Rangers, and Tampa Bay, one of them in a shootout (to the Rangers). March 3-6 they lost all three games to the Caps, Florida, and Toronto, one of them in overtime. While Boston has righted their ship lately, somewhat (3-0-2 in their last five games), they seem at least a decent candidate to give up the points. Boston finishes as follows:

At New Jersey
At Ottawa

Philadelphia: The Flyers are in a similar boat. They lost three in a row to Toronto, Boston, and Pittsburgh (please note that last one), March 12-15. It was the last three of a four-game slide, the first of which was an overtime loss to Toronto. Before that, though, you’d have to go back to February 19-23 to Ottawa, San Jose, and Florida (two of them in extra time – one overtime, one shootout). Those three losses were at the end of a ten-game winless streak. The Flyers finish as follows:

At Pittsburgh
New Jersey

Meanwhile, Carolina can earn no more than three points in their last three games, providing the Caps win out. When did they last find themselves in that situation? Well, they’re in the midst of one right now. In their last three games, during which they are 1-1-1, they lost to Tampa Bay in regulation and to Washington in a shootout, while beating Atlanta. Before that, though, the Hurricanes haven’t been in a three-points-in-three games situation since February 18-21, when they beat Atlanta, but lost in regulation to New Jersey and in a shootout to Boston. Carolina finishes as follows:

At Washington
Tampa Bay

It is interesting to note that Caps fans could be subjected to one final torture…Game 82 of the Flyers’ season -- in Philadelphia against the Penguins – is a Sunday afternoon game, the Caps’ season having been completed the previous evening. If the Caps are hanging on that game as the make-or-break contest of the season, there will be no more ardent Penguin fans anywhere than the red-white-and-blue.

Sometimes, life is irony, thickly sliced on toast.


bradley said...

Peerless, the Caps would have the tiebreaker over Boston and Philly (and Ottawa, as it were) should either earn only 3 points. In order to catch them, we'd be forced to end up with more wins. Maybe that makes things a tiny bit less bleak?

The Peerless said...

Somewhat, but the other side of the equation probably holds...the Caps probably have to sweep the home stand.

Joe said...

Peerless, I think it's pretty much a lock that the Caps need to sweep the home stand to have a chance at the playoffs.
I hope they win out because I will be at the game on Saturday cheering my ass off, especially if it means that they make the playoffs!

MikeEaglesHealthyScratch said...

Ottawa lost again. Unless their game with Boston is a 3 point game, I think we get in if we win out.

exwhaler said...

On Ottawa...

If they lose their last two games and the Caps win one of theirs, the Capitals are in.