Cammalleri to Centre and the Playoff Race

Mike Cammalleri is being moved to Centre and it remains to be seen if he will be successful. A Centre is not the same as a Winger, it is a much more challenging position. It is common to have a Centre downgrade to Winger without much concern but the transition from Winger to Centre is much rarer.

Mark Messier is an example of a former Winger who made the move to Centre with tremendous success but other examples are few and far between.

Cammalleri does have the historic advantage of being a Centre in the distant past and this certainly bodes well but it is not exactly a position that has stood still in time. He will be a player to watch closely tonight. Those who have not fully appreciated Mikael Backlund and his contributions should watch Cammalleri for his positioning and how he tends to his defensive responsibilities.

The position in the modern NHL has become one of the most important.

Make the jump for a update in the playoff race. The Canucks just couldn't do the Flames a favor last night with a clean win in regulation.

It is early in the season to do so but it is hard not to start cheering for some alien teams and high ranking former foes in the standings to take down the direct competition on the playoff bubble.

The Canucks with a regulation win over the Coyotes last night could have given the Flames a chance tonight to catch them. No such luck as our friends in Vancouver just couldn't deliver in regular time.

The Blackhawks who were securely in the playoffs have plummeted recently losing their last 5 games and tabling a 2-7-1 record over their last ten games. If they keep that up they will fall into the playoff pit of no mercy where every point matters. Almost inconceivable to imagine the Blackhawks missing the playoffs but it may happen.

The Kings are treading water and the Wild have been steadily fading. The Ducks, regardless of their recent surge, are out of it but they will be lethal spoilers.

The Flames, Yotes and Stars are in the thick of it. The Stars with their two games in hand could shoot up into the standings with a couple wins. The Flames simply have to win and keep winning.

A full docket for tonight and cheer those Red Wings over the Stars, the Ducks over the Wild, the Predators over the Blackhawks. Wins over the Flames playoff competition now is worth watching at this point.

Here is a grid for the playoff race breakdown. The top 5 in the West are more or less locked into position for the playoffs. Whenever you see a "Pt% Needed" of less than 0.500 you are in a fairly safe state going forward.

Point Pts for
West GP W L OT Pts Pt % GR Pace 8th Pt %
91 Needed
1 Red Wings 57 38 17 2 78 0.684 25 112 13 0.260
2 Canucks 56 35 15 6 76 0.679 26 111 15 0.288
3 Sharks 54 31 17 6 68 0.630 28 103 23 0.411
4 Blues 55 34 14 7 75 0.682 27 112 16 0.296
5 Predators 56 32 18 6 70 0.625 26 103 21 0.404
6 Blackhawks 56 29 20 7 65 0.580 26 95 26 0.500
7 Kings 57 27 19 11 65 0.570 25 94 26 0.520
8 Coyotes 57 27 21 9 63 0.553 25 91 28 0.560
9 Flames 56 26 22 8 60 0.536 26 88 31 0.596
10 Avalanche 57 28 25 4 60 0.526 25 86 31 0.620
11 Stars 55 28 24 3 59 0.536 27 88 32 0.593
12 Wild 55 25 22 8 58 0.527 27 86 33 0.611
13 Ducks 55 22 24 9 53 0.482 27 79 38 0.704
14 Oilers 55 22 28 5 49 0.445 27 73 42 0.778
15 Blue Jackets 56 16 34 6 38 0.339 26 56 53 1.019
East GP W L OT Pts Pt% GR Point Pt %
Pace 93 Needed
1 Rangers 54 36 13 5 77 0.713 28 117 16 0.286
2 Bruins 53 34 17 2 70 0.660 29 108 21 0.362
3 Panthers 55 27 17 11 65 0.591 27 97 26 0.481
4 Flyers 56 31 18 7 69 0.616 26 101 22 0.423
5 Penguins 56 32 19 5 69 0.616 26 101 22 0.423
6 Devils 55 31 20 4 66 0.600 27 98 25 0.463
7 Senators 58 28 22 8 64 0.552 24 90 27 0.563
8 Maple Leafs 56 28 22 6 62 0.554 26 91 29 0.558
9 Capitals 56 28 23 5 61 0.545 26 89 30 0.577
10 Jets 57 26 25 6 58 0.509 25 83 33 0.660
11 Canadiens 57 23 25 9 55 0.482 25 79 36 0.720
12 Lightening 55 24 25 6 54 0.491 27 81 37 0.685
13 Islanders 55 23 24 8 54 0.491 27 81 37 0.685
14 Sabres 55 24 25 6 54 0.491 27 81 37 0.685
15 Hurricanes 57 21 25 11 53 0.465 25 76 38 0.760
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