There are ten games tonight and most of them will affect the playoff races to some degree. However, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, I’ll just take a look at the three that might be the most impactful.
Boston Bruins (32-27-12, 76 pts) at Atlanta Thrashers (32-29-11, 75 pts) 7:00 PM ET
This game could go a long way toward deciding whom the Eastern Conference’s eight seed will be (although is receiving the opportunity to get bludgeoned by the Washington Capitals really a prize?). I will, however, remind you that I strongly believe that Boston will be the team that makes it. Again, look at Atlanta’s last five games: two against Washington, two against Pittsburgh and one against New Jersey. Not very promising for the dirty birds.
Philadelphia Flyers (37-30-5, 79 pts) at Ottawa Senators (38-30-5, 81 pts) 7:30 PM ET
This is another game that will have a big playoff impact but might only decide which team gets manhandled by one of the East elite. With Philadelphia’s goalie problems, I wonder how much of an impact Philly can make (despite their immense talent in other areas). Ottawa might just be happy to make the playoffs, to be honest.
Phoenix Coyotes (46-22-5, 97 pts) at Chicago Blackhawks (45-19-7, 97 pts) 8:30 PM ET
Now, this is what I like to see. If you saw Saturday’s thrilling Coyotes win, you are probably as giddy as I am to see if this scrappy Phoenix squad can extend their winning streak to 10 games and take first place in the West. Just let that last thought sink in: the league-owned Coyotes could be the number one team in the West if they beat Chicago tonight. Any non-‘Yotes fan who predicted that deserves a cookie.