Our beloved Carolina Hurricanes have 16 games left in the regular season. Currently, they are in a 4-team mosh pit for the last two playoff spots. Barring a winning streak, I think their hopes of playing in the post-season will rest on the final game of the year -- a home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Going through the schedule, 18 points in their next 15 games is reasonable. That will give the Canes 89 points heading into that last game. Will 89 points make the playoffs? I think we'd all be more confident about their chances with 90 or 91 points.
Tampa should be comfortably in the post-season when April 9th rolls around, hopefully giving our boys an edge in motivation. It's my prediction that the last game of 82, the last 60 minutes of hockey in a 6-month long season will determine whether the Canes will make the playoffs.