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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

West watch - lots of pucks to keep your eyes on tonight!


The Jackets don't hit the ice again until tomorrow night in Chicago but that shouldn't stop you from watching some hockey!! There are some key games on the NHL docket tonight that have major implications on the Jackets push for their first post season playoff birth.

Put simply there are 3 remaining threats to the Jackets and their bids for the playoffs at this point. They are Anaheim, St. Louis and Nashville. The Jackets have a game at hand on Anaheim but have the same amount of games remaining as the Blues and Preds at 3.

Tonight 26 of the 30 teams are in action throughout the NHL. Both the Jackets and the Ducks have the night off and will be scoreboard watching like the rest of us.

Let's take a look a the key games through the Jackets eyes tonight:

Chicago @ Nashville - 8:00 EST
Analysis: Chicago has won their past 3 and is on a roll and have locked up a spot in the playoffs. They are still lookin to solidify their first round home ice advantage so they do have something to play for. The Preds are the more motivated team as they look to retain their 8th playoff position. This is also their final home game of the season. Out of the 5 games played between these two teams the home team has won every time. I can't see Nashville blowing this game.
Edge: Nashville

St. Louis @ Phoenix - 10:00 EST
Analysis: Although tied with Nashville with 86 points, St. Louis finds itself in 9th place due to tie breakers. The Blues are 6-2-2 in their past 10 but lost an OT game and subsequent point versus Dallas in their last outing. They'll face a Phoenix squad who at 75 points has nothing to play for other than jobs or to be a spoiler. If their 6-3-1 record over their past 10 is any indication they aren't rolling over to increase their draft position and are playing some decent hockey right now. They have one more game at home after this one so I'm expecting a "let's do it for our fans" rallying cry here. The Blues have won all 3 games in this series. With the way the Blues are playing I think they make the dogs bark in the dessert, complete the sweep and grab the 2 points.
Edge: St. Louis

While I think both the Preds and Blues will win there are factors here that show the opposition could throw a monkey in their wrench. For the 'hawks they are a good team still battling for playoff position. For the 'yotes they really don't have anything to lose and have been playing well lately so why not play spoiler?

A loss by either team practically puts the Jackets in the playoffs.

Another factor to keep in mind is that this time it's the Jackets who will be rested and waiting on the 'hawks to return to Chicago for the tail end of their back to back on Wednesday night.

For a better breakdown of all the different scenarios be sure to check out the Dispatch's path to the postseason article today. Be forewarned that staring at this too long will result in head explosion.

Also Sportsclubstats.com gives the Jackets a 98.12% chance of making the playoffs as of today.

I know it can be hard rooting for other teams and I'll admit I felt a little dirty rooting for the Wings to beat the Wild the other day..... then I thought of what Hitch has said a lot this season in that in order to reach the playoffs, players must do uncomfortable things. I think that theory can certainly be applied to fans as well.

GO 'HAWKS & 'YOTES!

-LTL

1 comment:

Michael said...

Has anyone found a streaming link to the Hawks or the Yotes games???