Welcome back to the playoff race, Atlanta Thrashers!
Well, sort of.
The Thrashers have only been to the playoffs once. Back in 2006-07, they were swept by the Rangers in the first round. With no playoff victories of their own, their perennial role has been to blossom in Spring as playoff race assassins. It must feel great to be a Thrasher fan, clinging onto that kind of yearly relevance.
Still, the Thrashers will play a very critical role in ruining the hopes of two Eastern Conference teams, which readers of buffalo74 are very familiar with.
After last night’s unexpected 3-0 shutout of the Detroit Red Wings, the Hurricanes find themselves now only 2 points out of a playoff position, trailing the Rangers. Each has two games left; each plays the Thrashers once.
Meanwhile, the Sabres are not safe from losing out, either.
This is how is all shakes out, as analyzed by the indefatigable and hopeful Hurricanes blog “Canes County:“
- The Canes go 2-0-0 and: either the Rangers get two points or fewer in their final two games, or the Sabres lose their final two in regulation.
- The Canes go 1-0-1 and the Rangers get either one or zero points in their final two games.
- The Canes go either 1-1-0 or 0-0-2 and the Rangers lose their final two games in regulation.
- If the Canes go 0-1-1 or 0-2-0 they will be eliminated.
The Rangers are on their own turf tonight, to face off against the interloping Thrashers. The Canes fan(s) will be glued to their interwebs watching that scoreboard. On Friday, the Thrashers will be back in Atlanta, to continue their assassination plans by hunting down the Hurricanes.
Buffalo closes out its season against Philidelphia and Columbus. For Sabres fans, a Thrashers victory in Raleigh would clinch the playoffs for the Sabres. However, folks in Buffalo are far from fond of the Drury-poaching Blueshirts, and wouldn’t mind so much if the Hurricanes snuck past the Rangers for that final spot. With the sudden injury to Ryan Callahan, the Rangers are in a bit of crisis.
Suddenly, anything seems possible again.
Who on earth thought it would all come down to the Thrashers?
“The remaining schedule is remarkably even between the three teams, with shared opponents such as Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, and Atlanta between them.”
It’s nice when all the hard work of this blog pays off. Of course, it’s better when the hard work of the Sabres to get in the playoffs pays off with that elusive clinching moment.
Fans of the Sabres, Rangers, and Hurricanes are all still waiting for that magic moment. Thrashers fans will miss out on the magic again, but at least they have a shot at taking someone down with them.