So last night was "interesting"....in the Chinese sense of the term. Columbus didn't get much help at all from the West, while the Rangers took matters firmly into their own hands with a big win over Pittsburgh.
C'est la vie.
The good news for Columbus is that a win tonight gives them a big boost. The easiest way Columbus can make it in is to take care of their own business, but it's good to know where we'd like to see the other chips fall.
Tonight in the West, we're rooting for...
Columbus to beat Nashville in regulation (obviously), but OT/SO wins would also provide a significant boost.
Chicago to beat St. Louis in regulation
Vancouver to beat Edmonton in regulation
Phoenix to beat Detroit in regulation
Los Angeles to beat Minnesota in regulation.
Los Angeles could mathematically clinch a playoff berth with a win tonight and a little luck tomorrow, so I think it's worth assuming that'll be a later round draft pick. I'm going to stop tracking them for draft purposes, but remember that every time they beat a team we're competing with, an Angel gets a spray-tan or something.
Now, then, looking to the East, we're hoping for...
New Jersey to beat Boston
The Islanders to defeat Washington in OT
Philadelphia to defeat Toronto in OT
Winnipeg to defeat Montreal
Tampa Bay to defeat Carolina in OT.
Now, admittedly, the OT vs. Regulation for the Islanders, Flyers, and Lightning is a fairly minor swing in terms of the numbers, but if this "perfect storm" of results hits, New York would lose almost all of the ground they gained yesterday. Fun, huh?