Let's breakdown these last 7 games for the Carolina Hurricanes and their direct competition for the 8th seed the Buffalo Sabres: First let me say this that in a dream world if the Canes won the last seven games, the best Buffalo could and still miss the playoffs would be to go 4-3 over the last seven and that's losing in regulation.
Canes @ Washington-Obviously the Canes haven't defeated the Caps yet, and the Caps are playing some of their best Hockey down the stretch. With that being said it will be one of those games that will probably be deciding by a late 3rd period goal or possilbly OT or a SO.
Sabres @ Toronto- Obviously, the Sabres are red hot, but you have to think at some point their going to have one of those nights. Hopefully this is one, as the Leafs are still trying to keep their hopes alive as well, and have played much better as they are only two points below the Canes. If things are going to go the Canes way, I got the Sabres losing this one on the road!
Canes vs Montreal-The Canadiens are really struggling as of late, and really cannot seem to do anything right. Fortunately for them they had some cushion for something such as this, but definitely could drop to that 7th or 8th seed if their slide continues.
Sabres vs New York Rangers- Well the Rangers are possibly the hottest team in the league right now, but all good things have to end and the Sabres might just be the team to end that streak. The Rangers are playing good hockey but the Sabres being at home and considering the importance of this game for the two I believe the Sabres will win this one, or at least still a point at the very least!
Canes @ New York Islanders-I will make this one short and sweet, the Islanders are done, and officially eliminated from the playoffs, therefore if the Canes don't take of business here then no need to go any further!
Sabres @ Washington-By this time, one has to take in to fact that what will Washington have to play for, will they have clinched the Southeast, seeding, who knows. I feel that they will and could begin to start preparing for the playoffs, so for some reason I feel that the Sabres will be the more desperate team and get this one on the road.
Buffalo @ Carolina- Obviously every Canes and Sabres fan has this game circled on their list of remaining games and how the above games play out will really effect the significance of this one. The series is currently 2-1 Carolina, and the last two games have been dandy's for sure. Like the previous one this one may be about Ryan Miller vs Cam Ward in which the Canes will have to ride Ward and hope that they can sneak one by Miller. Canes Win this one or what's the point of the thread!
Red Wings @ Canes-Similar to the Caps earlier, what will Detroit have to play for and where will they be mentally playing a non-conference game so late in the year. Hopefully for the Canes, not too interested!
TB @ Sabres- TB hasn't been playing the greatest hockey as of late, losers of the last 4 of 5. I think that the Sabres will take this one just based on the fact of they will want it more.
Carolina @ Atlanta- Much like the Islanders game earlier, though I don't think it will come as easy, the Canes must take care of the nothing to play for Thrashers. However, as a Canes fan I know that the Thrashers would love to spoil our chance at a playoff spot!
Sabres @ Flyers- For some reason, I think that the Flyers if the #1 seed and knowing that they could be playing the Sabres in the playoffs in the 1st round will really bring it and try to make a statement. Not too mentionl the fact that the last time they played the Sabres they lost in a ugly game for them!
TB @ Canes- More than likely the Lightning will have clinched and this will be nothing more than a final regular season game for them, with the Canes winning
Sabres @ Columbus- I got the Sabres winning this one based on the fact that this game could mean so much like whether they get in or not, plus the Blue Jackets are just not that good this year, even though I watched them beat the Canes in person earlier.
So, with all that said that gives the Canes 14 pts, and the Sabres at best 13 pts! Now the realist in me knows that it is highly unlikely the Canes run the tables considering they have only one more than 3 games in a row once this season and more than 2 twice I believe. So, I really think the Sabres will have to go 2-5 for us to have a legitimate shot.