While Webster's gives it other meanings, the only time I see "stave" in common usage is when a team needs to "stave off" elimination.
In the Isles' case that begin today.
The Isles will be mathematically eliminated IF: they lose in regulation and Washington gets at least one point vs Minnesota. Both games begin at 5:00.
An Isles regulation loss would mean that they could finish with no more than 85 points/31 regulation wins. Washington has 82 points/35 regulation wins. One point would give them 83/35. However, Buffalo and Washington play Tuesday, guaranteeing that either the Sabres would reach 86 points or the Caps would reach 85/36. A Capital win would move them into 8th place (more ROW than Buffalo).
The Isles can not be eliminated if their game goes to overtime, because they own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Buffalo (winning season series 5 points to 4). With one point today, the Isles could get to 86/31, which is what Buffalo would have if they beat Washington on Tuesday.
Looking the other way: Columbus can clinch last overall today. To avoid it, they must defeat Edmonton. The Oilers, with a win, would get to 71 points, matching the totals for the Isles and Montreal. After today, Edmonton will have 6 games to play, as will Montreal.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick
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