BlueJackets By Jean Levergneaux (Blue Jackets) On Wednesday 2nd March 2022 / 8:25am
Playoff Races Inside Look
Goalie Appearance Rule could create problems for some teams in playoff race.
The HSHL Goalies may not appear in more than 65 games in a HSHL season and 3 teams starting goalies that are battling for a playoff spot will have to start their backup more often that they want down the stretch.
Juuse Saros has already played in 65 games so far this season, he is done for the regular season. Will the Coyotes start Anthony Stolarz for the last 15 games of the season?
With the trade deadline behind him the Arizona GM is not in a good spot right now.
The Desert Dogs currently hold the top wild card spot in the western conference with 15 games left but they are only 2 points ahead of Dallas Stars who have a game in hand on the Coyotes.
The Coyotes back up is Anthony Stolarz and his stats this year won’t make the Arizona GM feel very comfortable for the rest of the season.
Anthony Stolarz: GP 12, W 1, L 4, SV% .591, GAA 9.40
Will he be able to keep the Coyotes in the wild card spot?
I’m sure seeing those stats put a smile on the Starts GM face.
Detroit Red Wings
Semyon Varlamov has already played 60 games with 14 games left for the Wings. Detroit is probably safe and should make the playoffs since they already have 90 points in the bank and a 7-point lead on Toronto for 3rd in the Atlantic division.
They also have a 13-point lead on Carolina (77) would hold the last wild card spot in the east.
Detroit’s back up is Devan Dubnyk who has struggled this year with a .863 SV% and 4.54 GAA in 13 games, I don’t need to tell you those are not good numbers.
But will they be able to hold back the Leafs and avoid having to play the # 1 seed in the Atlantic Ottawa Senators?
Either way the Wings will probably have to go through the gauntlet to get out of their division with Montreal and Ottawa both having 50 wins in less than 70 games played.
Resting Varlamov might be what the Wings need to get out of the division.
Los Angeles Kings
Jordan Bennington has already played 60 games with 15 games left in the regular season for the Kings. LA is currently in 3rd place in the Pacific division 6 points ahead of Dallas who are currently out of the playoffs.
The Kings backup is Jonathan Quick, a veteran goalie who has struggled this year with .891 SV% and 3.26 GA in 2021- 22. Its obviously below average in the HSHL. Will that be good enough for the Kings who will need Quick to play 10 of the last 15 games.
Even if the Kings make the playoffs, they will probably lose the 3rd seed in the Pacific and end up in one of the wild card spots, which means facing either Vegas or Chicago who have been the class of the league so far this year.
Also, let’s not forget that the Blackhawks are the HSHL defending Champs!