Just get there, then go for it

BARRY MACDONALD -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

What is it all about when it comes to the success of a team when it comes to the playoffs?

If recent history is any indication, not a helluva lot. So if you are on angst overload about the Canucks' ability to finish atop the Northwest Division, rest easy.

Last season, the Edmonton Oilers reached the Stanley Cup final as an eighth seed in the Western Conference. In the four playoff series they played, not once did they have home ice advantage.

Calgary reached the Cup final in 2004 as a sixth seed, Anaheim got there in 2003 as a seventh seed and Carolina represented the East in the 2002 final as seventh seed.

The message is pretty clear. It doesn't really matter where you finish in your conference. Just get into the playoffs, and see what happens.

This doesn't mean finishing first isn't attractive on a number of fronts. Home ice advantage can mean an extra $1,000,000 in revenue per round. Finishing first usually means a team is playing well heading into the playoffs. And there is something to be said for sleeping in your own bed and embracing a familiar routine when it comes to playing the games that matter most.

Bottom line, just get to the post-season party. Anything can happen.

Barry Macdonald is co-host of BS in the Morning on the Team 1040 from 6-9 a.m. E-mail Barry at: barry.macdonald@24hrs.ca


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