florida beat the rangers 2nite, 4 pts behind montreal with 1 extra game played. Their next 2 oponents are boston and pittsburgh, 2 very winnable games 4 them.
If montreal loses to toronto tomorow, theyll have the same number of games played and only 2 wins seperating them...should we be looking behind us here, do you think the panthers could put together a drive to the post season?
Florida is capable. However what makes it difficult for them is that Atlanta, Toronto, Montreal would all have to suck for them to get in. They'd have to put a hot streak on while the afformentioned 3 would have to slump. With the way things have gone, this doesn't seem impossible though. So they're at least making a run unlike other years where they've floundered around in the league's cellar.
Stranger things have happened...
The playoff picture may very well look very different at the end of the season than it is now.
I'm sure we'll all be somewhat "surprised" by who makes it and what the conference standings end up to be.
The only fear I have is Montreal not being there, at the end...
I was about to say that at this point in time, if the Panthers were to catch the habs, it would mean a playoff position is not in reach anymore... Atlanta, Tampa and New Jersey arent going to wait for us while we are watching behind.
edit: same for Toronto. I dont want the win tonight because i dont want to give the points to Toronto, a team chasing us. I want the win tonight because those 2 points are a must in the race against the aboves teams.
At this point in time, i couldnt care less about Toronto or Florida or the Isles. The games against us are a must win for the points and not for preventing them for getting points. (Games against New Jerseys will be a much different approach)
Florida is a longshot for this year, but I'm impressed with the direction of that team. Keenan has made some very good moves. Signing Jokinen was masterful, and likewise being stubborn in not trading Luongo and Bouwmeester. Those three are as good as it gets in terms of a team core.
Also, with Martin, Florida is going to develop a nice group of young players like Horton, Olesz and Weiss. I don't think this is their year, but they're kind of like the Habs in terms of overall direction, and probably better if they keep Luongo beyond next season.
Actually, it would be interesting to track Gainey and Keenan's moves as GMs. I suspect they're somewhat similar in terms of general approach.