Updating my standings graphic this morning proved more of a challenge than I had anticipated. First, I forgot about Ottawa. They jumped over the Islanders. While that is insignificant in terms of playoffs, it is worth noting for draft purposes, and also just because.
Secondly, the Flyers fell below the Caps. Note how I do not credit the Caps with any jumping. The Flyers have fallen, and they can’t seem to get up. So jumping over them is no great feat. All a team would have to do is keep playing like they want to be ready for the playoffs. The playoffs that begin next week? Those ones.
It all started when the Sharks caught the Flyers in the league standings. Sure, the Flyers were on a losing streak before that, but they were improving, they were making some progress. And once the Sharks caught them, there was nothing standing in their way, they could progress forward, even win, if they wanted to.
Evidently they did not. They lost to the Sens in a giant fit of regression. A few days later, their GM Paul Holmgren gave them a talking to. (Where have I seen that before? Do all GMs have to chastize their teams at some point in the season?) Apparently Paul Holmgren is more scary than Doug Wilson. I sure hope so. It took the Sharks weeks to get their act in gear after “the talk”. The Flyers don’t have that much time.
But still there they were, Sharks and Flyers tied or almost tied in several categories. It seemed likely the Sharks would have to move ahead of them. They did not either. Now, losing to the Ducks is different than losing to the Sens. All the cool teams are doing it. Still, the Sharks didn’t have to lose 6-2. That stung, and stank.
So there they are, my favorites teams all cozy in the standings, a sight that initially made me happy. And there they seem to be stuck, like shorted circuits, like elements that never should have been so close together. Here’s hoping that today they are ready to move ahead, together or not. So long as they move up, or don’t fall, I don’t care if there’s a time lag or how far they move.