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03-10-2012, 12:41 PM
What the Faulk
The Real Swede Shady
Join Date: May 2005
Location: North Carolina
I'm not terribly concerned about the Isles/Leafs. The Isles are currently tied in points, so if the Canes do go on a run, then the Isles will have to do better. I can't see them basically winning out. Same goes for Toronto, whom the Canes play in a few games anyway. I guess Buffalo matters, but I see them hovering around 9th/10th for the rest of the season. IMO, it's between Winnipeg and Washington (if Carolina doesn't go on a run) for that last spot, and neither team seems to want it, which might open the door a bit.
Ruutu could be a catalyst, but then they've been playing well lately without him. I think he's supposed to play tonight, but neither Samson nor Bowman has been sent back yet. Branecky hinted that one would if Ruutu was going to be in tonight.
I do agree with the abysmal OT record being a huge reason for their struggles. There's just no excuse to be this bad after 60. Curious to see how their record was through 67 last year and how that compares if we did assume a .500 OT record this year.
What they do have going against them though is having 10 of the last 15 on the road. I think that alone probably damages any real hope. Then again, they're used to having much of March at home and we all know how well that's worked out...
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