A quick look around the NHL at tonight's games. Who can help, who can hurt, and who can we watch beat the teams we love to hate?
Today the Avalanche have 13 games to play, 75 points in the bank, and they sit 7points back of the Western Conference Wild Card with one game in hand..
San Jose Sharks (76 Points) at Toronto Maple Leafs (60 Points): A Sharks loss helps the Avalanche keep climbing, with a Sharks loss and an Avs' win, the Avalanche can pass them tonight on the ladder towards a Wild Card spot. Verdict? Root for the Maple Leafs
Washington Capitals (86 Points) at Minnesota Wild (85 Points): Catching the Wild is still unlikely, but we'll keep rooting for it anyway. Verdict? Root for the Capitals.
St. Louis Blues (95 Points) at Winnipeg Jets (82 Points): The Blues are too far ahead to catch, but passing the Winnipeg Jets will likely mean the difference between making playoffs and not. Verdict? Root for the Blues IN REGULATION.
Pittsburgh Penguins (88 Points) at Dallas Stars (74 Points): The Stars trail the Avalanche by a single point right now, and a Pittsburgh win would help keep them out of contention. Verdict? Root for the Penguins
Philadelphia Flyers (73 Points) at Calgary Flames (81 Points): The Flames have finally slipped out of the Western Conference playoffs, but they're still just a single point behind the LA Kings and the Winnipeg Jets, and 3 points back of the Vancouver Canucks. If the Avalanche want to make the Western Conference Wild Card, they'll have to climb over at least two of them. Verdict? Root for the Flyers.
Columbus Blue Jackets (66 Points) at Vancouver Canucks (84 Points): Remember above when Vancouver made the list of "teams we might need to pass?" Well Blue Jackets, if you really want us to give you our AHL affiliate in Lake Erie, you can do us a solid and beat the Canucks. Verdict? Root for the Blue Jackets.
Final Verdict, Playoffs:
Maple Leafs > Sharks
Capitals > Wild
Blues > Jets
Penguins > Stars
Flyers > Flames
Blue Jackets > Canucks
If the Draft Lottery were held today, the Avalanche would select 10th overall and hold a 3.5% chance at winning the 1st overall pick.
San Jose Sharks (76 Points) at Toronto Maple Leafs (60 Points): The Avs are bound to win a few more this year right? Well that means we need a few Sharks wins to keep our Top 10 pick. Verdict? Root for the Sharks
Boston Bruins (83 Points) at Ottawa Senators (79): The Senators are 4 points ahead of the Avalanche thanks to their magical late season run. Neither of these teams can affect the Avs' playoff odds, so lets get a little "draft pick insurance" if the Avs can't make the post season. Verdict? Root for the Senators (in OT if you're feeling spicy).
Detroit Red Wings (87 Points) at Florida Panthers (76 Points): The Panthers are just 1 point ahead of the Avalanche and neither of these teams can affect the Avs' playoff odds. Also, obligatory Fuck the red wings. Verdict? Root for Florida
Pittsburgh Penguins (88 Points) at Dallas Stars (74 Points): The Stars currently hold the 9th pick and trail the Avalanche by a single points. If the Avalanche want to maximize their McDavid odds, it means falling behind the Stars again. Verdict? Root for the Stars.
Philadelphia Flyers (73 Points) at Calgary Flames (81 Points): You again? The Flyers trail the Avs by 2 points, so a win by them helps our tank, and a Calgary loss helps our playoffs too! Best of both worlds. If you're hardcore rooting for the tank though, an extra point for Calgary would be helpful. Verdict? Root for the Flyers in extra time.
Final Verdict, Tank Watch:
Sharks > Maple Leafs
Senators > Bruins (OT)
Panthers > Red Wings
Stars > Penguins
Flyers > Flames (OT)
Detroit Red Wings (87 Points) at Florida Panthers (76 Points): You know what to do.
Washington Capitals (86 Points) at Minnesota Wild (85 Points): This one should also be easy for you. Go with your heart.
Only one game of import tomorrow night, so we'll deal with it here.
New Jersey Devils (71 Points) at Buffalo Sabres (47 Points): The Devils trail the Avalanche by 4 points. A Devils win can't hurt our playoffs but it helps our draft pick if things go south for the Avs. Verdict? Root for the Devils.