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Playoff Center/Centre

Bandit Time to do some number crunching, time to put the pencil to the paper.

We've got about three weeks left and a lot of teams in the east trying to make the playoffs.

As Jerry Reed once sang, "We got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.''

I'm east bound, just watch old Bandit run.

Here's what we got as of Thursday, April 13...

THE TEAMS

7. Boston (36-26-8, 80). Games remaining: 12. The sked: 13 TB; 15 PHL; 16 @wsh; 20 MON; 22 @mon; 25 @tor; 27 TOR; 29 OTT; 30 @buf; 2 @nj; 4 @ott; 5 BUF.

8. Philadelphia (35-27-9, 79). Games remaining: 11. The sked: 15 @bos; 16 @pit; 18 ATL; 21 NYR; 23 NYI; 25 @nyr; 28 @nj; 29 @nyi; 2 @pit; 4 NJ; 6 PIT.

9. Buffalo (32-28-11, 75). Games remaining: 11. The sked: 14 CAR; 15 @tor; 19 TBAY; 21 TOR; 25 OTT; 27 @ott; 28 MON; 30 BOS; 1 @tor; 3 @mon; 5 @bos.

10. Washington (33-30-8, 74). Games remaining: 11. The sked: 14 ATL; 16 BOS; 18 @nsh; 19 @chi; 21 @atl; 25 @car; 27 @tbay; 29 @fla; 1 CAR; 3 TBAY; 5 FLA.

11. FLORIDA (33-31-8, 74). Games remaining: 10. The sked: 14 NYR; 16 ATL; 20 CAR; 22 TBAY; 25 @tbay; 27 ATL; 29 WSH; 1 @atl; 4 @car; 5 @wsh.

12. Toronto (32-30-10, 74). Games remaining 10. The sked: 15 BUF; 18 @nyi; 21 @buf; 22 @ott; 25 BOS; 27 @bos; 29 MON; 1 BUF; 3 OTT; 5 @mon.

FOR WSH/FLA FANS ONLY 3. Carolina (38-29-5, 81). Games remaining: 10. The sked: 14 @buf; 16 OTT; 19 @atl; 20 @fla; 25 WSH; 28 ATL; 29 @tbay; 1 @wsh; 2 TBAY; 4 FLA.

THE BREAKDOWN ('break it on down...')

BOSTON -- Games remaining: 12; Home: 6; Away: 6; vs. Winning Team: 11; vs. Losing Team: 1; Home vs. WT: 5; Home vs. LT: 1; Road vs. WT: 6; Road vs. LT: 0; Back to Backs: 3.

PHILLY -- Games remaining: 11; Home: 5; Away: 6; vs. Winning Team: 8; vs. Losing Team: 3; Home vs. WT: 3; Home vs. LT: 2; Road vs. WT: 5; Road vs. LT: 1; Back to Backs: 2.

BUFFALO -- Games remaining: 11; Home: 6; Away: 5; vs. Winning Team: 10; vs. Losing Team: 1; Home vs. WT: 5; Home vs. LT: 1; Road vs. WT: 5; Road vs. LT: 0; Back to Backs: 2.

WASHINGTON -- Games remaining: 11; Home: 5; Away: 6; vs. Winning Team: 7; vs. Losing Team: 4; Home vs. WT: 3; Home vs. LT: 2; Road vs. WT: 4; Road vs. LT: 2; Back to Backs: 1.

FLORIDA -- Games remaining: 10; Home: 6; Away: 4; vs. Winning Team: 5; vs. Losing Team: 5; Home vs. WT: 3; Home vs. LT: 3; Road vs. WT: 2; Road vs. LT: 2; Back to Backs: 1.

TORONTO -- Games remaining: 10; Home: 5; Away: 5; vs. Winning Team: 9; vs. Losing Team: 1; Home vs. WT: 5; Home vs. LT: 0; Road vs. WT: 4; Road vs. LT: 1; Back to Backs: 2.

CAROLINA -- Games remaining: 10; Home: 5; Away: 5; vs. Winning Team: 6; vs. Losing Team: 4; Home vs. WT: 3; Home vs. LT: 2; Road vs. WT: 3; Road vs. LT: 2; Back to Backs: 2.

MY TAKE: The Panthers road to the postseason, quite honestly, doesn't look all that hard.

The Panthers can probably forget about catching Carolina, what with the Hurricanes having a pretty easy road with four games (eight points) against Tampa and Atlanta. They'll win one of two against Panthers, and that should be that.

Florida has five games against teams with winning records left, five against teams with losing records remaining. That's more than any other team on this list. Carolina and Washington each have four left. The Panthers also have six more home games remaining, tied with Buffalo and Boston for most left.

Washington should also put up a fight, but the Caps' six game roadie from Ap. 18-29 (Nash, Chi, Atl, Car, Tampa, FLA) could be a major concern. Washington finishes with three at the phone booth, so if they stand strong on the road, they should be in very good shape. Don't forget, Panthers and Caps play each other twice; Wash in Sunrise for Panthers' home finale, FLA in DC for regular season finale.

Toronto, bless 'em, have it rough down the stretch, the Islanders on Ap. 18 the only team they play without a winning record. The Leafs can win a few of those games, but they are probably already running on fumes, so it's going to be tough.

Boston, Philly and Buffalo all have rough roads ahead as well. Buffalo and Boston both have just one game left against a non-winning team, Philly plays eight of 11 against teams with winning records. 

Going to be fun seeing how this all plays out. Will try to update this every couple of days, spring training days not included.



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