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"The Skinny" … on the Openers By Eric Hornick The NHL released the schedule for the 2016-17 season on Tuesday.  It'...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Isles clinch shot at Tavares

With Phoenix' OT win last night, the Isls have assured themselves of a shot at Tavares.  While the Isles can still finish ahead of LA or Phoenix, they can't finish ahead of both of them (as those teams have 2 games left against each other). Those teams play each other Thursday/Saturday.  A Phoenix OT/SO win would guarantee that both teams finish ahead of the Isles.  (It may not come to that, as the Isles play both Wednesday and Thursday - a loss in either game will also guarantee it.)

The magic/tragic with Atlanta is now 3.  If the teams tie with 73 points, the Isles will finish below Atlanta due to fewer wins.  If Isles went 7-0 and Thrashers went 0-3-3 to both finish 32-41-9, Atlanta would still be ahead of Isles due to season series.

25  Los Angeles Kings  PAC 75 31 33 11 73 191 219
26  Phoenix Coyotes     PAC 76 32 37  7 71 192 235
27  Atlanta Thrashers       SE 76 32 38  6 70 237 262
28  Tampa Bay Lightning  SE 76 24 35 17 65 196 252
29  Colorado Avalanche   NW 76 31 43  2 64 193 247 
30  New York Islanders   ATL 75 25 41  9 59 189 244  

The biggest "worry" -- the Avalanche.  Colorado has been dreadful for a long time now, picking up just 1 point in their last 7 games.  If the Isles go 2-4-1 or worse the rest of the way, it won't matter -- Colorado can't catch them.

The Av's remaining schedule: 
Wed Apr 1, 2009    Coyotes Avalanche     9:00 PM     
Sun Apr 5, 2009     Avalanche Canucks    10:00 PM   
Tue Apr 7, 2009      Avalanche Sharks      10:30 PM         
Thu Apr 9, 2009      Stars Avalanche        9:00 PM    
Sat Apr 11, 2009     Canucks Avalanche  3:00 PM    
Sun Apr 12, 2009    Blues Avalanche       5:00 PM   

The Isles also play at 5:00 on Easter Sunday (April 12).  If it comes down to then, could there be another Easter Epic in the Isles future?

 Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since 1982.

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