At the halfway point in their regular-season schedule, your Montreal Canadiens have 39 points.
Assuming 92 to make the playoffs, can they get 53 points in their remaining 41 games?
In my Saturday column in The Gazette, I said the Canadiens would have to play at a .650 clip, winning twice as often as they lose, to punch their ticket to the postseason dance.
Gern Blanston took issue with my math:
I just wanted to point out that this calculation is very simplistic, if you assume the OT losses continue at the same pace (meaning the Habs get 7 of those points in the second half as they did in the first) that means they would have to go 23-11-7 to get the 53 points, which is only a .560 winning percentage.
That seems a lot more do-able doesn’t it?
Well, it’s do-able if you’re one of the better teams in the NHL.
The St. Louis Blues, who bring the Jaro Halak Tour to the Bell Centre Tuesday night, have played 41 games and amassed the point total the Canadiens need in the second half: 53.
The Vancouver Canucks, who won in Boston on Saturday to raise their point total to 55, also had 53 after 41 games.
Chicago, which has lost three in a row, has 52 points through 41 games.
In the Eastern Conference, with the exception of the Rangers, Boston and Philadelphia, no one has more than 50 points.
Florida hits the halfway mark at 48 points. New Jersey and Ottawa, two teams the Canadiens are chasing for a playoff spot, have 48 after 41 and 42 games, respectively.
Bottom Line (and I don’t mean Blunden-Nokelainen-Darche): To make the playoffs, the Canadiens will have to be an elite team in the second half, beginning with that huge game against Jaro and the Blues.
But hey, they’re undefeated in 2012.
Anything is possible.
• • •
Like the Canadiens, Calgary is in 12th place.
But although the Flames are only four points out of eighth, there is speculation about a sell-off that would see Jarome Iginla (who scored his 500th goal Saturday) and maybe Miikka Kiprusoff moved to a Cup contender for prospects and draft choices.
• • •
Finally, a classic clip dug up by Zdenek Matejovsky, who covers the Canadiens for Czech television.
It seems a pane of rink glass was shattered during a game in one of the Czech Republic’s minor leagues.
With no replacement glass available and the home team in danger of having to forfeit, they came up with an innovative solution: A backup goaltender sat on the side of the rink holding a table to fill the space where the glass had broken.