Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Upon further review

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are facing an interesting dilemma as they go into tonight’s game against the New York Islanders. The Leafs find themselves at somewhat of a mid-way point – six points out of a playoff spot and three points out of the draft lottery and a shot at consensus number one pick Steve Stamkos.

While I would never advocate throwing in the towel and quitting, logic dictates that any potential run at a playoff spot without Mats Sundin, who may be more seriously injured that many believe, and Nik Antropov is next to impossible. Leafs Coach Paul Maurice insists that the Buds are still in the hunt and they are going to play like it – Maurice has no guarantees beyond this year, so his stance is understandable – anything short of a playoff berth likely spells the end for him.

The irony of tonight’s game is that a win doesn’t guarantee any traction in the standings, while a loss would move the Leafs one step closer to the lottery – a win by the Islanders (in regulation) would leave them one point behind the Leafs for 24th spot and no lottery balls in June.

The interesting thing about tonight’s game is that Isles coach Ted Nolan is in the same boat as Paul Maurice – with speculation that there is a huge rift between Nolan and G Rick DiPietro, anything short of a playoff berth would likely result in Nolan being fired, so he’ll be coaching to win games from here on in.

Tonight’s game will determine how the Leafs play out the season – a win would mean they have to go full boar for a playoff spot, a loss SHOULD result in Andrew Raycroft finishing the season as the Leafs starting goalie and inverting the depth chart to give the AHL call-ups the majority of available ice-time. You can call it tanking the season – I’ll call it, evaluating your farm system and seeing if any of these guys are going to be legit NHLers. A loss tonight should result in Paul Maruice being relieved of his duties, as it is the only way to ensure that the final seven games unfold as they should.

While this will come off as a 180 degree turnaround from yesterday’s post – it isn’t; it is simply a realization of the facts.

All about yesterday’s suggested plays.

Vancouver Canucks C Henrik Sedin scores two goals in a 3-1 win over Phoenix – a game that saw Wayne Gretzky lose it on the officials…Leaf Nation hears you Gretz.

Minnesota Wild D Brent Burns had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win over the Avs – nice to see Foppa is up to his dirty old tricks of blindsiding guys into the boards; someone needs to smash his face in.

Another good night here with two winners last night – total for the week (starting yesterday) is + $200. Tonight’s suggestions:

Montreal over St. Louis – the Blues have packed it in the for season; they are 1-8-1 in their last 10 and it looks like the players have quit on coach Andy Murray. Expect the Habs to roll over St. Louis tonight, they’ll play hard for Jaroslav Halak who is getting the start tonight. Lay $100 on the Habs - $24.0.

Edmonton over Phoenix – th e Coyotes playoff hopes are bleak, even more so that Toronto’s. The Oilers aren’t in a much better position, but will be motivated by trying to avoid falling into the lottery, since their 1st round pick belongs to Hockey God and the Ducks. Lay $100 on the Oilers - $130.

San Jose over Los Angeles – a bit of a scary pick considering the Sharks are coming off a loss to end a long winning streak – but they are the league’s best road team and have won both games in LA this season. Lay $100 on the Sharks - $180.

That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world.

I’m Out!


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