NHL Playoffs Update: Colorado, Philly survive

Avs2.jpgFinally, finally we get some teams taking control of their playoff destiny and rising to the occasion to win a big game. The Philadelphia Flyers kept their playoff dreams alive with a big home win over the Detroit Red Wings (can we say they’re in a slump now, that’s two losses in a row for goodness sake), yet they have two incredibly big games against the New York Rangers coming up to decide the fate of their season.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche stopped the bleeding, getting a big overtime win over the San Jose Sharks while at the same time the Chicago Blackhawks were doing them the biggest favor possible and taking down the Calgary Flames.

We now have seven teams in the West who have punched their ticket to the playoffs, although with just a few games remaining there is still some major jockeying for position to be made in regards to who faces whom. In the East, just five teams have locked down a playoff spot, and the Atlanta Thrashers are close to seeing their playoff dreams dashed.

After the jump, we take a look at the updated standings as well as a look at the games from yesterday that actually mattered. Hint…they all mattered.


The games that mattered:

Philadelphia Flyers 4, Detroit Red Wings 3: The Flyers must have paid off Mike Babcock in order to have him start Chris Osgood for the first time in three months in what was their biggest game of the season. Osgood allowed three horrible goals, Brian Boucher won the mediocrity battle on the other end and the Flyers live another day.


The games that mattered:

Chicago Blackhawks 4, Calgary Flames 1: Anti Niemi was solid (whew!) for the Blackhawks, while Miikka Kiprusoff was unable to keep his hot play going. The Flames put the heat on (bazinga) in the third, but were unable to overcome a two goal deficit. The Flames’ playoff hopes are still alive, even though…..

Colorado Avalanche 5, San Jose Sharks 4, OT: The Avs did their best and almost flittered away an incredibly important two points, after allowing the Sharks to tie the game with two third period goals. Luckily John-Michael Liles was able to get the win with a great tip-in shot. This lady and gents, was a great game with the season on the line.

Vancouver Canucks 4, Minnesota Wild 3, OT: We’ll have more on this game in a bit. Meanwhile I have to ask: are Canucks fans worried about Luongo?

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    Video: Marchand scores fastest goal in Bruins’ history

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    It makes sense that a swift bit of history happened in a game in which three goals were scored scored on three shots in about three minutes.

    Brad Marchand found the net eight seconds in after an icing call, setting a new record for the Boston Bruins.

    (You can see that goal in the video above.)

    Again, there were three fast goals overall, with Boston getting two of them. Here’s the Red Wings goal, which narrowly survived a review:

    Things didn’t really slow down that much after that, as Loui Eriksson made it 3-1 for the Bruins.

    Maybe the best moment wasn’t a goal: Torey Krug was seemingly hurt by a Pavel Datsyuk hit, yet he returned without missing much time.

    Kinkaid blanks Kings, Devils move into playoff position

    New Jersey Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid (1) watches a shot on goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings, Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016, in Newark N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
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    When the New Jersey Devils shut down a team 1-0, it’s usually with Cory Schneider in net.

    Their workhorse got the afternoon off against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, yet Keith Kinkaid did his Schneider impression, grabbing his first NHL shutout in the process.

    It was a low-event game with just 46 combined shots on goal, but Kinkaid had to work, stopping all 28 shots. To give you an idea of how tight this game was, the only tally was credited to David Schlemko on the power play.

    This gives the Devils three straight wins. They managed to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division, although New Jersey’s edge is a little misleading; the Islanders trail them by one standings point while holding three games in hand.

    That leaves the Islanders in the bottom wild card spot, while the Penguins aren’t so far behind either.

    Third in Metro: Devils – 65 points with 57 games played
    Second wildcard: Islanders – 64 points, 54 GP
    First spot outside the East playoffs: Penguins – 63 points, 54 GP

    So, the Devils’ hold of a playoff spot is a bit tenuous, yet the bottom line is that they’re staying in the mix.

    The Kings, meanwhile, remain comfortably in first in the Pacific.

    WATCH LIVE: Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings on NBC

    Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green (25) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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    The Boston Bruins (without Patrice Bergeron) take on the Detroit Red Wings (missing Jonathan Ericsson) on Sunday afternoon.

    It’s a matchup between the second-ranked and third-ranked teams in the Atlantic Division, with little separating the two in the standings.

    You can watch the game on NBC and also stream it online via the link below.


    Fighting it: No Patrice Bergeron for Bruins once again


    As cool as it was at the time for many, Patrice Bergeron‘s fight against Blake Wheeler is … honestly, a good reminder why players like Bergeron rarely drop the gloves.

    Multiple outlets including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty report that Bergeron will miss Sunday afternoon’s game against the Detroit Red Wings (which you can watch on NBC).

    We don’t know a ton about the injury aside from the fact that the multiple Selke-winner is considered day-to-day.

    People don’t seem overly concerned about this issue, but you have to wonder if Bergeron made a bad choice, especially considering his history of concussion issues.

    You can watch the bout that may or may not have left him injured in the video above.