A Canuck fan’s guide to what Saturday means for the playoffs

Saturday is the final day of the 2011-12 regular season, with all 30 teams playing their 82nd game of the year, including the Canucks, who host the Oilers. There’s still much to be decided. The 16 organizations heading to the first round of the postseason have all been established, but in many cases the clubs they’ll be meeting there have not.

This is especially true in the Western Conference, where zero of the 8 playoffs teams have clinched their seeding. Try to make sense of this: The Canucks currently sit in 1st, but they can still be passed by the 2nd place St. Louis Blues. The Phoenix Coyotes are holding down the Pacific Division lead and the automatic 3rd seed that comes with it, but with a loss, they can be overtaken by the winner of the Sharks and Kings’ Saturday evening affair. (Meanwhile, the loser of that game will finish 8th.) The Nashville Predators are in 4th, but they can still be passed by the 5th place Detroit Red Wings, who can still be passed by the 6th place Chicago Blackhawks. Still with me?

Normally, in cases like this, you could put on your fan blinders and avoid the confusion altogether, but simply focusing on what’s at stake for the home team will still yield a dizzying mess. Thankfully, PITB is here to help. Here’s a guide to what you, the Canuck fan, need to know about Saturday.

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Drance Numbers: I was eerily correct about the Canucks’ goal totals

It’s odd to be writing the final “Drance Numbers” post of the regular season. It feels like only just yesterday I was writing the first, a detailed post projecting the Canucks’ likely offensive output back on October 6th, 2011. Looking back on that post, it seems uncannily prescient now:

With one game to play, the Canucks are sitting at 246 goals. So, barring an offensive explosion in game 82 (like we saw from the Canucks in 2009), my 247 projection is likely to be very close to the team’s actual total.

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Spitballin’ on the Canucks’ dwindling repugnance, prospects, playoff videos and baby sloths

Spitballin’ (or Super Pass It To Bulis: All In, if you love adventurous acronymizing) is a feature that allows us to touch on a multitude of things really fast, because in the world of hockey, there are always lots of things to find and colour. Here are a few quick topics.

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Calgary Flames, April 5, 2012

With the New York Rangers’ loss in Pittsburgh, the Canucks found themselves in a position to take a stranglehold on the Presidents’ Trophy race with a single point. And, after the second period ended with the boys in blue up one, it looked like they had it in the bag. The last time this team failed to collect at least one point when leading after two periods was in October of 2009.

But the Canucks let the cat out of the bag, allowing three third-period goals and watching their stranglehold evaporate. On the bright side, what were the Canucks doing trying to strangle a cat in a bag? How incredibly inhumane. Gosh, thank goodness the Canucks blew this lead. I’d hate for them to be responsible for the death of a cat. I love cats. I watched this game.

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