Friday, February 20, 2009

Schedule Breakdown: 24 games to go

So if you haven't looked at Zorak's Magic Number page recently, the Bruins magic number is 22 with 24 games left. They could lose 22 games in OT/SO, 2 in regulation, and still make the playoffs. It would be depressing, though, and these Bruins haven't shown themselves to be the type to roll over and die like that.

So let's take a look at the rest of the season.
  • There are 24 games to go.
  • 10 are Away games. The Bruins are 21-6-4 Away.
  • 14 are Home games. The Bruins are 19-4-4 Home.
  • All remaining games are in the Eastern Time Zone.
The Divisional Breakdown, in order of most games played:
  • EAST: 19 Games (10 Home, 9 Away, 33-6-6) This is the conference the Bruins have been on top of for a while. Anything can happen in 24 games, but I'm most worried about the Devils taking the Bruins #1 seed by the end of the season. They have been ridiculous.
  • Atlantic: 8 Games. (4 Home, 4 Away, 7-1-4) 1 Each against the Penguins and Devils, and 2 each against the Flyers, Rangers, and Islanders. The best team in this division is the Devils right now, but the Rangers could do something at the trade deadline.
  • Northeast: 6 Games. (3 Home, 3 Away, 13-3-2) 1 each against the Sabres, Habs, and Leafs. 3 Games against the Ottawa Senators. The Bruins have been on top of the division for most of the season, and the closest team to challenging them is the Habs, if they can stay away from Montreal mobsters. Ottawa and Toronto are currently tied for last in the division, with 53 points. The Montreal game is the last home game of the season.
  • Southeast: 5 Games (3 Home, 2 Away, 13-2-0) 1 vs. Washington, 2 each vs. Tampa Bay and Florida. Washington is far and away the best team in this division, being the only team from the Southeast that has managed to beat the Bruins. However, the Caps beat the Bruins twice in the phone booth, and the remaining game will be in Boston. By tuesday, they'll have played Florida twice and Tampa once.
  • WEST: 5 Games (4 Home, 1 Away, 7-4-2) It will be a boon that the Bruins only have to travel west once more this season, and then only to Columbus. Western teams don't have the whole rivalry thing with Boston as much as Eastern teams do, but these are usually quite interesting games. The West is insane. 11 points seperate 5th from 15th right now.
  • Pacific: 3 Games (3 Home, 0 Away, 1-1-0) Everyone remembers the one loss to the Sharks at home in February, and Everyone remembers the one win over Dallas near the beginning of the season. The Bruins host the Ducks, Coyotes, and Kings once each at the Garden, and these should prove to be interesting games.
  • Central: 2 Games (1 Home, 1 Away, 3-0-2) They play the Blackhawks at home and the Blue Jackets away. The Blackhawks are one of the top-4 teams in the west right now, but Columbus doesn't want to give up any points. Their sensational rookie goalie, Steve Mason, is very good. Very. Good. The Bruins will have to work hard to score on either, and play good defense against the high-flying offense of the Blackhawks and Rick Nash of the Bluejackets.
  • Northwest: 0 Games (3-3-0) This is all done.
The longest road trip they'll have to endure from here on out is back-to-back games. There are 4 such trips:
  • Feb 21 vs. Panthers, Feb 22 vs. Lightning: Florida is looking for a playoff spot because they like Jay Bouwmeester on their team.
  • Mar 8 vs. Rangers, Mar 10 vs. BlueJackets: This is the one road trip that takes them out of the Eastern conference.
  • Mar 28 vs. Leafs, Mar 29 vs. Flyers: The Flyers are tough, and who knows what Toronto will look like by then.
  • Apr 11 vs. Sabres, Apr 12 vs. Islanders: These are the last 2 games of the season. Last year I went to the last game of the season, and it was pretty boring because they clinched the playoffs. Because they lost that game, they had the habs in the first round.
  • The Bruins have a 6-game homestand coming up after this weekend, playing 3 Western teams, Florida, Washington, and Philly. None of these games are guaranteed wins, though the Coyotes' game is right after the deadline and who knows how they'll look at that point. If the coach of the Coyotes wasn't Wayne Gretzky, he'd have been fired already.
  • Three game homestand, March 31 to April 1: Tampa Bay, Ottawa, and the Rangers. The Bruins should be able to get 4 out of those 6 points.
  • The rest of the homestands are 1 or 2 games together. Look up the schedule yourself if you want to look at them.
Other Points of interest:
  • Mirtle's From the Rink: has a breakdown of how each team has done since new year's day. The Bruins are 5th. They play teams in the top 5: 4 times, top 10: 8 times, top 15: 10 times.
  • is having a Mike Milbury day today, apparently. Story and selected quotations: "It's unbelievable that after more than 30 years in the game, pummeling a guy with his loafer will be my legacy. But I guess it's better than having no legacy at all."
  • Andrew Ference is still a big ole hippy. Plus he can check like a freight train and move the puck. Look for "B's Go Green" at a 3-8 grade science room near you.
  • Erik Cole blah blah blah.
  • Fluto did another Mailbag.
The Trade Deadline is March 4th, so at that point you can stop worrying about who's going where. Aaron Ward was on WBCN the other day, he said that they have great chemistry in the locker room and that the only moves that should be made are ones that will definitely help the team. I agree.