Apr 5, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT
Finally, finally we get some teams taking control of their playoff destiny and rising to the occasion to win a big game. The Philadelphia Flyers kept their playoff dreams alive with a big home win over the Detroit Red Wings (can we say they’re in a slump now, that’s two losses in a row for goodness sake), yet they have two incredibly big games against the New York Rangers coming up to decide the fate of their season.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche stopped the bleeding, getting a big overtime win over the San Jose Sharks while at the same time the Chicago Blackhawks were doing them the biggest favor possible and taking down the Calgary Flames.
We now have seven teams in the West who have punched their ticket to the playoffs, although with just a few games remaining there is still some major jockeying for position to be made in regards to who faces whom. In the East, just five teams have locked down a playoff spot, and the Atlanta Thrashers are close to seeing their playoff dreams dashed.
After the jump, we take a look at the updated standings as well as a look at the games from yesterday that actually mattered. Hint…they all mattered.
The games that mattered:
Philadelphia Flyers 4, Detroit Red Wings 3: The Flyers must have paid off Mike Babcock in order to have him start Chris Osgood for the first time in three months in what was their biggest game of the season. Osgood allowed three horrible goals, Brian Boucher won the mediocrity battle on the other end and the Flyers live another day.
The games that mattered:
Chicago Blackhawks 4, Calgary Flames 1: Anti Niemi was solid (whew!) for the Blackhawks, while Miikka Kiprusoff was unable to keep his hot play going. The Flames put the heat on (bazinga) in the third, but were unable to overcome a two goal deficit. The Flames’ playoff hopes are still alive, even though…..
Colorado Avalanche 5, San Jose Sharks 4, OT: The Avs did their best and almost flittered away an incredibly important two points, after allowing the Sharks to tie the game with two third period goals. Luckily John-Michael Liles was able to get the win with a great tip-in shot. This lady and gents, was a great game with the season on the line.
Vancouver Canucks 4, Minnesota Wild 3, OT: We’ll have more on this game in a bit. Meanwhile I have to ask: are Canucks fans worried about Luongo?
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 16
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 10
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 42
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 54
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Report: Trottier to join Sabres’ coaching staff 19
- Blues sign former eighth overall pick Mueller 31
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center 45
- Eric Staal has surgery to repair ‘core muscle injury’ 6
- After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig 16
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (55)
- Trotz plans to let Johansson, Kuznetsov, and Burakovsky compete for time at center (45)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (44)
- Richards: If not for the cap, half the league would want to play for Hawks (36)