Well, this is why I love sports, this entire weekend. Even now, with just a couple of games left, there is so much undecided it boggles the mind.
Even after tonight, the entire season will likely be hanging in the balance and the Oilers may find themselves in the unlikely position of needing Tommy Salo to bail them out (I suspect Matts has enough nervous energy to light up Newfoundland and Labrador this weekend).
But you know what? It PALES in comparison to 1970.
That was the season that came down to the final day and then all hell broke loose. The following is taken from Stan Fischler's HOCKEY STARS OF 1971:
What made all the events so unreal was the fact that none of the playoff positions were finally decided until the final day of the season; and, at that, some higher mathematics were involved to settle matters.
Both Boston and Chicago completed the season with 99 points but the Hawks annexed first on the strength of having 5 more victories than the Bruins. Detroit's Red Wings, who had not made the playoffs in 4 years, wound up third. Then there were New York and Montreal almost identical in games won and lost. According to league rules, if points and win/loss record were the same, the team with the most goals would annex fourth.
The Rangers entered the final day of the season trailing Montreal by 2 points and 5 tallies in the goals-scored column. That meant, to make the playoffs, New York not only had to win and hope Montreal lost to Chicago to square the points and victories totals, but also had to score at least 5 more goals against Detroit than the Canadiens did against the Blackhawks!
New York blitzed Detroit 9-5 on the final Sunday afternoon whereupon the Blackhawks trounced Montreal 10-2 on the evening of April 5, 1970. Both the Canadiens and Rangers lifted their goalies in the final minutes, ignoring opposition empty net goals in an effort to increase their own goals-for total.
That was the season the Bruins won the Cup on Orr's OT goal flying through the air against the Blues. All hell broke loose after that weekend, with many implying the Red Wings didn't give a full effort.
I'll tell you it was a helluva day to be a hockey fan. And so is this one.