Playoff Race Clusterf**k, Mar. 20
Sabres thumped the Thrashers 8-2 (yowza), the Maple Leafs beat the Bruins 5-2 (thanks for nothing, Boston), and the Senators down the Lightning 3-2 in OT all last night. That sets up today’s standings.
The Sabres currently have a 2 point cushion over the Hurricanes with one less game played. While Toronto is still within striking distance, Buffalo has a comfortable lead on Atlanta and New Jersey. Something you may have noticed is that Tampa Bay is now in 5th. What I considered the Sabres’ dream match-up in the first round is now very unlikely unless something absurd happens.
Obviously, the Sabres need to beat the Predators any way they can. Sabres fans should be rooting for the Penguins to beat the Rangers in regulation to make 7th place reachable today. The team will know if they can move up a place by the time they dress for warm-ups. Columbus hosts New Jersey and a Blue Jackets win would really deal another mortal blow to the Devils’ improbable surge late in the season. Then, Minnesota hosts Montreal and while a Wild win would be cool and help keep the Habs in reach, it really doesn’t hold any bearing on the Sabres.
Following tonight’s games, the Sabres will have pulled even in games played with Carolina but will still have a game in hand on the Rangers. Buffalo still controls its own destiny.
(Playoff Race Clusterf**k will be a daily series running until the conclusion of the regular season)