The NHL regrets to inform you that there has been a scheduling error. The playoffs start tonight.

It is of no consequence what the Phoenix Coyotes do. They play a too little, too late “hot” Minnesota Wild team that skates for pride. If the Coyotes win, big fucking deal. If the Coyotes lose, big fucking deal. Oh, but if the Coyotes lose in regulation then it’s really, nope, nope, big fucking deal.

I don’t begrudge reality here. I understand from a standings perspective we only partially control our fate. I refer to something deeper, more ingrained in the players’ psyche and that of the die-hard fan. Some don’t like to read the word “momentum” because they cannot quantify it. It doesn’t fit nicely in a column or row. It is like motivation and inspiration, it brings confidence to the forefront and buries excrement that reeks doubt and uncertainty. Games are won or lost by its force. The team that maintains it and channels its elusive power prevails.

Here is a fun stat. Only the teams with a positive “plus/minus” “goals for/goals against” differential made the playoffs in the Western Conference. In the East, the Florida Panthers (-27) are currently third while the Washington Capitals sit at 8th with a -11.

I do what I can to bring balance. I frustrate those whose cerebral hemisphere incessantly leans left while I reward them with what the rest of us know is right.