The current 3 day break in the schedule comes at a great time, both for the club and the fans. After an exhausting stretch of games, the club gets a chance to catch a breath, give Mason a breather, and decompress from the daily pressure of the playoff chase. Not only that, but the fans get a bit of a breather, and can step back from the edge of the cliff.
St. Louis gets a wild win over Detroit tonight, 5 – 4, with Backes getting 4 of the Blues’ tallies. Conklin was in goal for the Wings, and now how dumb does the Detroit organization look for not picking up a goalie at the trade deadline? Osgood and Conkline are not going to get Detroit out of the first round, at the current rate. St. Louis is now back in 7th place, pending the outcome of the Anaheim/Vancouver game, which is currently tied at 5 in the 3rd.
Edmonton lost a tough one tonight, 2 -1 against San Jose, reducing the CBJ magic number for Edmonton to 1. If Vancouver can beat Anaheim, the MN against Anaheim goes down to 2.5.
A Chicago win over Nashville on Friday, combined with a Calgary win over Minnesota puts us in the position where a win over Nashville on Saturday would effectively clinch for us. Technically, the clinch would come with at least an OTL on Sunday vs. Chicago, but as a practical matter, it is over.
If it makes everyone feel better, consider that the NHL media and related pundits are not concerned about us being in the playoffs. They may not understand the paranoia that 7 years of missing the playoffs breeds, but I trust their judgment.
More tidbits tomorrow . . . Go Jackets!