Yeah but it's not like there's travel between those games in LA. They just miss Lidstrom and Datsyuk, and are a vastly worse team without those guys. Big deal, though, as Lidstrom's missed something like ~40 games in 20 years. Boo hoo. If anyone else heard the interview with him it was actually pretty interesting. They asked him what the bigger surprise was, Blues leading the division or San Jose sucking and he said that they won all those games in a row at home and the Blues just didn't go anywhere. Said the surprise of the year is the Blues. Also seemed to suggest earliest he'll be back is next Wednesday. He's hopeful but not willing to guess yet. But his injury is healing slower than expected.
Be nice if Phoenix could hold on here and the Blues really get to go into Carolina and Tampa with a chance to almost lock down the top seed in the West.
The Blues may be playing "nice" as Hitchcock put it, but they're racking up points, going 9-1-1 while Vancouver and Detroit stumble.
The Blues have a real chance to step on the gas in the next two games. Setting aside games in hand and just focusing on the emotion of "we can catch these guys (the Blues)," by the time Nashville, Detroit and Vancouver all see the puck drop late Saturday night on the West Coast, the Blues could have 102 to their 92 (Van), 91 (Det) and 89-91 (Nsh).
Reactions ranged from weird to a bit wistful as Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom missed an eighth straight game Wednesday.
Lidstrom did the least on-ice activity he has done all week during the morning skate at Honda Center, forced off by pain that has throbbed in his right ankle since he suffered a deep bone bruise when he was hit by a puck Feb. 25.
"I was more sore -- that's why I was out there for just a few minutes," he said. "I don't think it's good when you're more sore. So they want me to be more cautious about it."
Lidstrom said he won't try to skate today, and there's talk he might not skate again for a few days. Multiple X-rays have revealed no fracture, but after nearly three weeks, swelling and soreness continue to sideline Lidstrom for what is the longest stretch of his 20-season career.
With Chicago pulling away a little with a regulation win at Dallas, at first glance it seems hard to tell at a glance who's really leading that race for the bottom. The standings sure don't tell you. In fact, looking at the NHL or ESPN or TSN standings only realy tells you what the order isn't.
Fortunately, it's super easy, and you can tell who's ahead at a glance. Here's how the standings are traditionally written:
Here's how you can do it very fast in your head. Ignore the OTL column entirely. Take the difference between wins and regulation losses. With this group, it's all + numbers. Blues are +26, for example, being 45-19-something. When a number is tied, look at how many games are left. If a team has more games remaining, it's a better points percentage. If both these numbers are the same, look at ROW.
3. Dallas = +11
7. San Jose = +10 8. LA = +9, 11 GR
9. Phoenix = +9, 10 GR
10. Calgary = +8, 10 GR
11. Colorado = +8, 9 GR
Easy. Takes five seconds. I guarantee you if you want to take the time to calculate the points percentages, this is the order. Points percentage is accurate every day of the season including at the end. Points are only accurate at the end of the season.
You probably won't be surprised to learn, if you're looking at magic numbers, the Blues are 1 vs. COL, 2 vs. CGY, 3 vs. PHX, 4 vs. LA, and 6 each vs. SJ and DAL. Huh, whaddya know, that's the exact reverse order of the actual standings as I've just presented them.
Anyway, we're currently in line to play LA, and it'll probably all change fifty more times by the end. Still, if you decide you want to follow the race, this is the way to keep an accurate track, because you can be 100% sure that whatever the announcers, writers, commentators are saying, it's a bad narrative. Heck, right now they're trying to say Ottawa (+12, 10 GR) is ahead of Boston (+13, 12 GR) in the Northeast.