Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Seth breaks down the end of the regular season, but I'm more interested in how the President's Cup will spell disaster for the Wings...

Going into last night's games, the question of who the Wings could play in Round One was up in the air.

The Western Conference was a huge mess, but fortunately the key players were all playing each other. Calgary beat Edmonton, ending the Oilers' playoff hopes and putting the Flamers one magic point away from a locked spot. Colorado beat Vancouver, locking up a playoff berth for the Avs and dropping the 'Nucks back to the bubble. And Nashville got over their slump, beating woeful St. Louis to jump ahead of Vancouver.

So it looks like the field of likely opponents is narrowed to three: Vancover, Calgary and Nashville

There's also a good chance of some shenanigans. Read on...

The Wings need just a point in 3 games (or a San Jose OT loss) to lock up the President's Trophy and the no. 1 seed, so essentially we have to look at only the potential 8 seeds:

Nashville (89 pts, 2 games left) -- There's a freaky weirdness chance that the Preds could pass Calgary and be a 7th seed, and still play Detroit if we fall to a 2nd seed (we'd need to lose all three remaining games for that). Otherwise, they're the No. 1 candidate for the 8th seed by nature of the fact that they lead Vancouver by one point. Games left are StL and @CHI

Vancouver (88 pts, 2 games left) -- Vancouver's best chance is to pass Nashville, since they're only separated by a point. If Nashville wins out, the Canucks could also knock out Calgary if they come into their end-of-season game against each other separated by two points, since a win would give Vancouver the head-to-head. Games left are EDM and @CGY

Calgary (92 pts, 2 games left) -- Calgary could face Detroit in the 7th seed scenario, but there's a slight chance, if Nashville or Vancouver wins two and Calgary loses two, that they could move to 8th seed or even out of the playoffs, since a tie with the Canucks would go to Vancouver. I wouldn't mind if the Flamers stayed home this year at all. Games left are @MIN and VAN

So here's what to watch:

1. Calgary at Minnesota tomorrow night. If the Flames win or tie they clinch a playoff spot and stay with Colorado. If they lose, though, they are right back in the mix for Spot 8.

2. Nashville v. St. Louis tomorrow, and at Chicago on Friday. We want to face the Preds, so root for victories.

3. Vancouver v. Edmonton late tomorrow night. If Nashville beats the Blues, the 'Nucks need a win to stay alive.

4. SHENANIGAN WATCH: Vancouver v. Calgary on Saturday. All shall be known after this game.

The reason I put Calgary/Vancouver on shenanigan watch is that in some scenarios, both teams would help each other if they agreed to sit on their asses for three periods, then decide the winner in overtime or a shootout.

Vancover has the tiebreaker over the Predators, but Calgary doesn't. Of course, there's also So there's a remote likelihood that entering that game, Calgary and Nashville will both have 92 points, and Vancouver will have 90. That means if Vancouver beat Calgary outright, all three would finish with 92 points, with Vancouver representing the 7th seed, Nashville the 8th, and Calgary sitting out. But why would Calgary and Vancouver play for a 7th seed or out if they could agree to a tie, then let the Canucks win in overtime, guaranteeing them both a spot. It's a quid pro quo: Calgary gets the higher seed, Vancouver gets in the playoffs.

The chance of that happening, adjusted for the likelihood of each team winning, losing or OTL-ing to their proper, respective opponents, is barely 1 percent.

figger wun:

Total Shenanigan Game (both Vancouver and Calgary could clinch by tying)


Calgary already clinched, but Vancouver needs a win or tie to get in playoffs


True play-in game (winner goes to playoffs, loser is out)


Nashville or Vancouver already eliminated by game time


A much greater likelihood (see figgur wun), however, is that Vancouver will need just a point to get the 8th seed, with Calgary already clinched for the playoffs and competing for the 6th seed with the Avalanche (Colorado doesn't play their last game until afterwards).

Calgary is one point behind the Avs now with 2 games to play, and the Avs have only one. So a win for Calgary against Vancouver, no matter what happens tomorrow night with Minnesota, either means Colorado drops to the 7th seed automatically, or has to win or tie to keeep its 6th seed. Since the No. 2 seed is San Jose, and the No. 3 seed is Minnes

Well, one point comes cheap. The teams could decide to play to a tie at the end of regulation, guaranteeing both the point they need to clinch a playoff spot. Then could play five minutes of overtime and the shootout to decide the No. 7 and 8 seeds.

Keep in mind, though, that the only way for Calgary to miss the playoffs is lose outright to Vancouver. So if Nashville wins out, the Preds clinch a spot, and then it's between CGY and VAN for the

So for a shenanigan game, we need a set of standings entering that game (which will start after Nashville has completed its season) in which one point for both Vancouver and Calgary

In the name of journalistic integrity, here are the outliers, and what needs to happen to play them:

Dallas (93 pts, 3 games left) -- Detroit has 111 pts and 3 games left, and San Jose, who hasn't lost since last year, has 108 pts and 2 games left. The Wings have more wins than the Sharks can get, so if we finish tied, the Wings still get the top seed. But if San Jose wins both, and the Wings don't get a point in the next three games, we get the 2nd seed, which faces the 7th seed. Now, if Dallas or dropped all three of its games, and Calgary won both of its last two games, and Colorado won its last game, then the Stars would drop to the 7th seed. So basically, count Dallas out.

Colorado (93 pts, 1 game left) -- Another 7th seed potentate, if Colorado loses its last game and gets passed by Calgary, which would need to win both of its last two, then the Avs could move to 7th. Still, only if the Wings lose 3 in a row, and San Jose wins their games.


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