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.
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 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.
|West||GP||W||L||OT||Pts||Pt %||GR||Pace||8th||Pt %|