I'm no fan of going back to the NHL's old system of qualifying for the playoffs and this season is a classic example why. The top four in each propsed new "conference" would already be decided in some cases. Think anything is decided in a 1-8 scramble like this year? Nope.
The Sabres, of course, are in the middle of a race with Washington, Winnipeg and Tampa Bay for eighth in the East (and Florida should be included too because it's just a point up on Washington). And the Colorado Avalanche hit town tonight in a four-way tie for eighth in the West -- with Phoenix just one point ahead in seventh.
The four-way became a reality last night when San Jose lost in overtime at Calgary and Los Angeles beat Detroit. The Sharks, Flames, Kings and Avs all have 78 points. Colorado is 11-5-1 in its last 17 games.
"The west is crazy," Lindy Ruff said today. "You look at San Jose and Calgary and look at them all bottled up at 78 points and that race is crazier than ours in the East."
The Sabres took a hit last night when the New York Islanders blew a pair of three-goal leads and suffered a 5-4 shootout loss to Washington. It's the third time in the last eight games the Capitals looked dead in the water in regulation and pulled out points.
Cracked Ruff: "When it went to 4-3, I went to the hardware store to buy lights. I couldn't watch anymore."