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Taking Stock of the Western Teams



    Hawks fans have been biting their nails, and maybe other things, about the games in hand that the rest of the West, save the Ducks, have on them.  Well, with five days off, this is when those games will probably get made up.  So I thought I'd take a look at what the rest of the teams vying for these playoff spots will be up to while the Hawks are kicking their feet up.

    Phoenix: Tuesday vs. Nashville, Thursday at Los Angeles

    Actually, by the time the Hawks take the ice Saturday afternoon they'll have a game in hand on the Coyotes.  Hawks fans should hope for just a regulation result in that tilt Tuesday, as well as Thursday.  The Kings have been reeling at home. 

    Nashville: Tuesday at Phoenix, Thursday at Colorado

    A sure-fire taffy pull awaits in the desert, and a clash of sytes in the Rockies on Thursday. 

    Anaheim: Tuesday at Ottawa, Thursday at Toronto

    The Ontario swing of mediocre.  While this sets up pretty nicely for the Ducks, the Leafs have been showing some piss and vinegar lately, and when this is over the Hawks will actually have three games in hand on Anaheim.

    Colorado: Tuesday vs. Vancouver, Thursday vs. Nashville

    It sounds awful to say, but Hawks fans really should be rooting for the Canucks to slap down the Avs.  They're not in their division, and Vancouver is going to rack up so many points against their terrible division we'll never catch them anyway, and don't have to. 

    San Jose: Beat Phoenix yesterday, Thursday at Vancouver

    Another favor that can be done by the Nucks.

    Looking at all of this, simply put the Hawks just need this love triangle between Phoenix, Nashville, and Colorado to just end in regulation.  Two teams getting points in one game won't help.  Nothing critical will happen this week.