Excuse me while I sit back and savor this moment in front of all of the haters out there who said we didn’t need this team and that they sucked over the last few years. ahhhhh yes. As the Steelers begin their decent my beloved Pens are now the best team in the city and I’m sure Yinzer Nation is just having a royal shit fit over it.
Here is why I’m geeking out over the Eastern Conf. playoffs this year and why you should too (OK besides the fact the Pens are in it for the first time since 2000-01 season and I have tickets).
1) Division play – The Atlantic title is up for grabs. Pittsburgh and NJ are tied with 98 points (pens have played 1 more game though). Northeast has Buffalo which is sweating a 5 point lead (for those not used to hockey scoring that would be 2.5 games) over Ottawa who are 7-1-2 in their last 10. Southeast is a huge clusterfuck with 4 points separating 1st and 3rd place (Atlanta 88, Tampa Bay 86, Carolina 84).
2) Conference play – The playoffs consist of 8 teams. 3 Divisonal winners and 5 top points (each team gets 2 for a win, 1 for OT loss or shootout loss). The top 3 are ALWAYS the division winners which is why Buffalo(103), New Jersey(98) and Atlanta(88) are 1-3 and Ottawa/Pittsburgh are 4th/5th with 98 points. Now here’s where it gets interesting. It’s still a possibility that Atlanta could fall out of the race completely. Teams 6 thru 11 are only separated by THREE points. That’s 6 teams fighting for 3 spots! New York Rangers with 87, Tampa Bay and Montreal with 86 and Carolina, Toronto and New York Islanders with 84. With most teams having 5 games left that’s a possibility of 10 points. Can you see where I’m going with this? An all out battle royal in the NHL!
I get chills thinking about it. I have Versus on my cable so I know I wont have to worry about missing too many games but you can bet your sweet ass that I’ll be glued to the TV for the next week. I forgot how exciting of a time it was.
Oh yeah, did I mention that the Pirates home opener is about 12 days away?