another very difficult game tonight...DAL is not only playing very well, they're scoring tons of goals and are red hot on the road.(4-1 so far)
really when you think about it, this is our 7th game against the 7 other teams that are the favorites to get a western conference playoff spot this year..DET,LA,COL,VAN,DAL,CAL,SJ... so far we're 4-0-2 against these 7 teams, with tonight being the 7th game of 32 we play this year total against these 7.
you would then classify EDM,ANA,PHO,MIN as the 4 bubble teams that could knock several of these '8 favorites'(including us of course) out of a spot easily..we only play these 4 16 times, and so far we're 2-2 against them
then you have the three bottom teams, STL,CLB,CHI against who we have 24 games total and who are 3-0-1 against.
we've just started a very important part of our schedule..
this 4 game home stand.. EDM, DAL, STL, LA
then a three game road trip.. @ MIN, @DET, @CLB
then back home for 5.....LA, DAL, CAL, MIN, PHIL
12 important games, with 9 of the 12 at home.. only one back to back set in the 12, the @CLB and then back home against LA on the 23rd-24th..
not many 'easy' games in the bunch (not that any are ever easy)...
you figure we need to get 4 points more on this homestand and 3 on the roadtrip and then 7 in the next homestand for this stretch to be considered 'susccessful'
getting 14 points in these next 11 games would put us at 35 points in 25 games for the season... a .700 overall winning perecentage at that point, which would pro-rate to an 82 game point total of 113 points...
to demonstrate what a start we have had for the newer hockey fans and as a point of reference, currently with our 21 points in 14 games, that would pro-rate out over a full season to 123 points, which would be the highest point total for a season in many decades in the NHL
to put that in perspective... a 113 point total would have won the president's cup each of the last two years in the NHL..
we won't put up these kind of numbers of course, just want people to stop and realize what a start we've gotten off to, so hopefully when that next 3 game winless streak comes along anyone with chicken little tendancies won't panic
liked what i saw in that first period. outplaying, outworking and outchancing so far...which hasn't been the case a lot of this year. Hartnell had two good chances point blank, Hordichuk had one and Upshall had the best of all. What a hot streak Erat is on, 4 goals in 4 games, now leading the team with six on the year. Good also to see Sully back in the lineup and creating chances.