Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Is Here, Playoff Mode Is Too

It was the second period and the Philadelphia Flyers were losing 4-0 against the New York Rangers Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Gardens.

"I'm hearing from the Flyers' bench talk about how disappointed they are with their play here this afternoon," Pierre McGuire said (roughly).

Thank you Mr. McGuire. Your insight, once again, amazes us all.

Anyway, that game was strange. The Flyers looked awful, from top to bottom. Goalie Brian Bouchier looked lost. Captain Mike Richards literally had to fight to get some sort of effort out of his boys. But, it didn't matter.

The first-pace Flyers met a desperate seventh-place Rangers team Sunday.

It's that time of year.

Here we go, Red Wings fans. Get ready to witness another tough March. The Red Wings' bull's eye on their backs just grew exponentially. It's not easy being a top-seeded team in March. It never is.

And, really, that's what is awesome about the NHL -- parity exists. Teams can control their own destiny.

But it's tough for fans to watch their top team get showed up by teams just clawing their way into the playoffs. It's a new team every night, but the same scenario.

That's essentially what happened to the Wings this past week. They met some teams, such as San Jose, Phoenix and Anaheim that are either clinging to playoff hope or were for a substantial part of the past month or so -- like San Jose, the hottest team in the NHL. The Wings have been gliding through a pretty average season (by their standards).

But now it's basically playoff time. The next few weeks will mean a lot. For the Wings, they just have to remember how important clinching the division is.

Just focus on staying in front of their division foes and Detroit will be fine.