The Week In Review is a weekly compilation of hand-picked NHL stories selected by members of WinColumnSports deemed important or impactful from the week that was.  Additionally, there is also a running pool amongst the contributors based on our picks for Saturday’s match-ups.

Stories From the Past Week

Spencer Love

After 17 years in the National Hockey League, the Sedin twins are finally calling it a career the same way they started – together. The siblings will finish their hockey careers following the Canucks final regular season game this year against the Edmonton Oilers.

Drafted by the Canucks in 1999, the Sedins came to Vancouver as part of some of the savviest deal-making in the past 20 years. Entering the draft holding the #3 pick, then-Canucks GM Brian Burke made a series of deals to acquire the 2nd overall pick as well, which in turn allowed the team to draft the highly-touted Sedin twins back-to-back. It was a gamble that paid of handsomely for the team; the brothers sit at numbers 1 and 2 in both games played and points for the Canucks franchise. They also lead the team to their best-ever playoff finish, leading Vancouver to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals where they lost to Boston in seven games.

Not only were the Sedin’s top-notch players, but class acts as well. As an Oilers fan, the Sedin’s class was best shown to me when Ryan Smyth retired. The twins ensured that each Canucks player remained on the ice to shake hands with the departing Oilers legend – an act that still stands out to Oil fans to this day. One can only hope that Connor McDavid shows as much character when the Canucks battle the Oilers in the Sedins final game.

Daniel, Henrik – thank you.

Ben Ferguson

Some people have had mixed feelings about the Wildcard and the Playoff format. However, from a fans perspective, it creates for excitement as the final spot in both the Eastern and Western Conference can be spoken for this afternoon/evening. For those who aren’t aware, the final Eastern Conference Wildcard spot isn’t as cut and dry as one would think.

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com: If, at the conclusion of the regular season two teams competing for the final playoff berth in a conference are tied in points, ROW (regulation plus overtime wins), points in their season series (excluding the first home game for the team that has the extra game) and goal differential for the season, the following procedure will apply:

* A tiebreaking game will be played.

* An equally weighted draw will be conducted by the League – promptly upon the conclusion of the last game of the regular season on Sunday – to determine home-ice advantage for the game.

* Should the score of that game be tied at the end of regulation, overtime will be conducted under the rules that are in effect for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (i.e., five-on-five skaters, sudden-death, 20-minute periods until a winner is determined).

* For the purposes of the 2017-18 season, the tiebreaking game would be played Tuesday, April 10.

The Philadelphia Flyers (41-26-14, 96 points) currently occupy the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, with the Florida Panthers (42-30-8, 92 points) the only team capable of catching them.

* The Flyers (81 GP) and Panthers (80 GP) are tied in ROW (39). The teams split their season series (after eliminating the odd home game between them). Philadelphia currently is +3 in goal differential for the season, while Florida is -1.

* Therefore, the teams would play a tiebreaking game if Philadelphia loses its final game of the season by two goals exactly (Saturday vs. NYR) and Florida wins its final two contests, both in shootouts (Saturday vs. BUF, Sunday at BOS).

The Final Western Conference Wildcard is cut and dry and it should make for an exciting game. The Blues clinch the final spot with a single point, this forces the Avalanches hand to pick up the win in regulation. This game can also be argued to have implications on the Hart trophy race, as Nathan MacKinnon is certainly in the conversation. A play-off berth isn’t necessary to win the Hart Trophy, however, it will certainly aid his case.

Arik Krause

If you ask any true hockey fan who the best defenseman in the NHL is they’ll probably name off a lot of people before they get to Ryan Suter. Suter who is the father of Bob Suter a player on the historic gold medal-winning 1980 USA Men’s Olympic Team was drafted in 2003, 7th overall by the Nashville Predators. After two seasons with the Wisconsion Badgers NCAA team and the Milwaukee Admirals AHL team, he made his NHL debut for the Predators in 2005-2006. Since then Suter has gone on to multiple Norris trophy finalist seasons but has yet to win the coveted trophy.

Why is this important?

Last Saturday in a game against the Dallas Stars, Ryan Suter went down with a fractured ankle effectively ending his 2017-2018 campaign and severely denting the Minnesota Wild’s chances at a Stanley Cup. I’m a firm believer that it’s impossible to win a Stanley Cup without a true #1 defenseman that can eat up 30 minutes a game. Just look at Edmonton for example, they had Pronger during their 2006 Stanley Cup run and haven’t been the same since.

Minnesota will more than likely be playing the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of this years playoffs. Will they be able to beat Canada’s best team without their #1 defenseman? Only time will tell.

WinColumnSport’s Saturday Picks
Games Spencer Love Arik Krause Doug Lakusta Ben Ferguson
 Rangers @ Flyers  Flyers  Flyers Rangers
 Senators @ Bruins Bruins  Bruins Bruins
 Canadiens @ Maple Leafs  Canadiens Maple Leafs Maple Leafs
 Blackhawks @ Jets Jets  Jets  Jets
 Islanders @ Red Wings Islanders Red Wings  Red Wings
 Sabres @ Panthers Panthers Panthers  Panthers
 Devils @ Capitals  Capitals Devils Capitals
 Lightning @ Hurricanes Lightning Lightning Lightning
 Blue Jackets @ Predators  Predators  Blue Jackets Blue Jackets
 Ducks @ Coyotes  Coyotes  Ducks  Ducks
 Blues @ Avalanche  Avalanche  Blues  Avalanche
Last Week’s Record  6-6 7-5 7-5
Record to Date 91-61 (60%) 88-64 (58%) 13-9 (56%) 79-62 (56%)

This running pool is open to readers and WinColumnSport contributors. If you are interested in joining you can contact me on twitter (@WCS_BFerg). Ultimately, if you join the pool, you must be willing to contribute a developing story from the week that was.

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NHL Week in Review: Sedins, Suter, and Tiebreakers
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