- 02/04/2014, 03:11PM ET
kalbrecht17 said 02/04, 03:11 PM
1st: pick (must be teams that are not currently in the top 3 in each division)
2nd: pimp your picks
3rd: insult the others
East: Detroit and Philly
West: Minnesota and Phoenix
Sir Loin said 02/04, 03:26 PM
East:I'll take the other two teams that are hovering around the 4th spot in each division: Montreal and Carolina.
West: I agree with your picks. I don't think Vancouver is going to make the cut - they're playing tired as is, and having their stars go to the Olympics won't help.
kalbrecht17 said 02/06, 06:31 PM
Detroit: This team easily could've folded without Pav and Z for an extended period, but they stayed right in the thick of it and are holding a WC spot as we speak. Now as Pav (back tonight) and Z come back into play, their scoring numbers should rise right along with their D efficiency (which is their biggest knock) because they both are phenomenal 2 way players. The blessing in disguise of losing Pav and Z is really going to work out to their advantage down the stretch because of the guys who got playing time. Nyquist is starting to crank it up and Abby can move back to his lower expected scoring output. I also expect Jimmy to play up to his standards and be more consistent. All and all, this team is getting it together at the right time.
Philly: I'm picking them just due to the bonus of their schedule really. The team has the talent to get into the playoffs and they get the advantage of playing in the Metro where the only formidable team is Pitt. Everyone else is at best at an equal talent level of Philly. Also, their ST has been one of the best in the league thus far rolling at 19.8% (8th) in PP and 83.8% (6th) in PK. Those are huge assets in a tight stretch run.
Sir Loin said 02/07, 09:03 AM
Detroit seems to be heating up, enough to stay within the wild card chase for now, but their goal differential worries me. But having said that, there's only 6 teams in the pathetic East who have a positive goal differential, and Columbus is one of them! Amazing.
So, since we started, Montreal is now in 3rd place, having bumped Toronto down to 4th. Regardless, I think Montreal has the strongest goaltending of the bubble teams. They might not have much offense, but they have a wining road record, and besides Price and Subban, their represented by a wealth of Olympians, so they have the talent to stay in the playoff hunt.
Carolina benefits from the same schedule the Philly has (who, like Montreal, has slipped into 3rd since we started this), but, like Montreal, I think Carolina's strong goaltending (with Khudobin having won the NHL's player of the month in Jan for his strong play) will get them into the playoffs. They have 3 games in hand over Philly right now, so their lower point total is misleading. Plus, they're going to benefit from Staal being snubbed off the Canadian team, and he'll be well rested heading into March.
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