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Atlanta All-Star

Flames ATLANTA -- Hanging out here in not-so-Hotlanta, doing my thing as a member of the All-Star Game media throng.

Trust me, I haven't done much. Well, I had a bag of pretzels and drank a can of Diet Pepsi (seriously, I'm at a major event in Atlanta and finally found Pepsi to drink).

That's about it.

I did talk to some of the YoungStars, like Broward County's own Sam Gagner (OK, that's a real loose interpretation), David Perron and Nicklas Backstrom. Also talked to Don Waddell. He sends his regards.

-- It's pretty cold here in Peachtree City. Between the cold and the drought, I think they are going to have to replant all the grass in this city. And I'm talking about the grass on the ground.

-- Got an email today from Karen Baird at the University of Alberta -- home of the Zips. Anyway, they have a business professor there named Armann Ingolfsson who teaches management science through simulating NHL hockey games. That's my kind of science!

Anyway, by playing out the rest of the season using current winning percentages, they've figured out which teams are in the playoffs -- and which teams ain't.

Detroit? In. Minnesota? In. Carolina? Could be. The Panthers? Take a guess.

Florida has an 18 percent chance at making hockey's big dance. According to this Alberta computer, Washington and Carolina hover around 44 percent, followed by Florida (18), Atlanta (12) and Tampa Bay (11). The computer says Toronto has only a three percent chance of making the playoffs, so it does make some sense. If you like the BCS computers determining who plays for the national championship, then you should like this. Here are the numbers. Let the crunching begin!


OTT (100 percent chance of making playoffs); PHL (98); NJ (95); MON (93); PIT (92); BOS (79); NYI (55); NYR (45); WSH (44); CAR (43); FLA (18); BUF (16); ATL (12); TBAY (11); TOR (3).


Det (100 percent chance of making playoffs); SJ (98); MIN (90); CAL (75); DAL (70); VAN (66); COL (62); PHX (56); ANA (55); NSH (46); CBUS (43); STL (33); CHI (11); EDM (1); LA (ZERO).