Hockey Night in the State of New York
After tommorow night the Eastern Conference playoff race could become a little bit clearer.
Will start off with the 8th place New York Islanders. Their magic number is 4 points. They can clinch the playoffs tommorow night with a win and a Sabres loss. They play a team that they have a good history against at home in the Montreal Canadiens. However they are coming off 2 disappointing losses, they have a sloppy PP, and the defense has made dumb mistakes. Tomorow night could be good or awful for them.
There is the 9th place Buffalo Sabres. They have been nothing less then remarkable since the all-star break. They had a hard schedule early so they had an easier schedule down the stretch. They can be mathimatically eliminated tommorow night or they can cut the lead to 1 point. They have a harder 2 games then the Isles do after this. Isles have at Carolina and vs. Philly. 2 matchups that they could win and Buffalo has vs. Toronto and at Montreal. What worries me is those teams might rest players and will shift the game into Buffalo’s favor.
Rooting against the Sabres requires all Isles fans to go for the Rangers. Tommorow night will be an emotional night for the Rangers being their home finale. They can be the spoilers tommorow sending the 9th seed home. However, do they want to finish in 6th to last place? Do they want to help the Isles? I think the answer is they probably won’t get the #1 anyway and they oubviously dont want to help the Isles, but put that aside. Arguably your best foward in your team history, your captain, the 2nd leading scorer in history is playing his final game in MSG tommorow night. They will be fired to play and send Messier off on a positive note.
Tommorow will be a roller-coaster night. For the 3 NY teams it will be interesting. For the Isles they need to reduce it to at least 2. Buffalo needs to keep it at 4 and reduce the lead to 1. No matter what tomorow night will be an emotional, exciting, and for me at least a very nervous night. However, tomorow night some things will be made very clear.
I like to look at the positives so if the Isles finish 9th… at least Mike is gone.