Sunday, December 20, 2009
Western Conference playoff race, 20 December edition
WOW - What a week. Tremendous separation taking place between the top and the bottom. Sadly, that's not a separation where the Columbus Blue Jackets line up with the top of the conference.
In the end, though, the playoff bar only rose three points to 41...so the holy grail of a playoff birth isn't totally out of reach for the bottom of the conference. Only 8 points away, St. Louis!
BIG POINT GAINER OF THE WEEK: The Central Division steps up with a tie for top gainers in the Chicago Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators - each with a mind-blowing 8 points each. We all talk about what the Olympics are doing to the schedules (in this case, compressing the schedules to accommodate the Olympic break), and the 'hawks and Preds are taking full advantage of it. Chicago vaulted past San Jose into first place in the conference, too. In an interesting side note, no other team in the West gained more than 4 points.
SMALLEST POINT GAINER OF THE WEEK: Sucks to be the Edmonton Oilers right now...they didn't add a single point to their bottom line. That's rough. The runner-up is (again) the Columbus Blue Jackets, who added a meager single point last week. Again, bad enough to be bad but not bad enough to be the worst. Sigh.
Also, the Red Light District blog posted the first Western Conference playoff analysis post that I've seen this season - here's a link. Not pretty at all for the Blue Jackets.