It’s been clear for some time, but Tuesday madeitofficial: the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers will battle it out for the East’s two remaining playoff spots.
With that in mind, plenty of eyeballs will be on NBCSN as the Red Wings host the Flyers, including those of the Bruins.
As of right now, the Flyers and Red Wings stand above the Bruins because of tiebreaker advantages, yet all three teams are obviously close at 91 standings points. More than anything else, you can safely wager that Boston wants this game to end in regulation.
Here’s a look at the East standings, or at least the portion relevant to these teams:
If that isn’t thrilling enough, consider how much control the Red Wings hold over this race. Detroit isn’t only facing Philly tonight, they’re also taking on the Bruins on Thursday.
As the above graphic shows, the Flyers hold a significant edge in games in hand with four games remaining, but they’ll need to earn it. They finish the season with a daunting set of four games in five days, with two back-to-back sets.
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol probably says it best: “We’re in work mode.”
Really, there’s not much separating the Bruins, Flyers or Red Wings. It really might come down to which team works the hardest (and/or works “the smartest”).
It all makes for fascinating viewing on NBCSN tonight.
PHT Morning Skate: Should the Capitals be worried?
Maybe Ryan Suter should send a “Thank you” note to his former teammates in Nashville.
The Minnesota Wild fell 3-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday, but in a broader sense, it didn’t really matter. The Colorado Avalanche lost as well via a 4-3 defeat to the Predators, so the Wild are officially in the playoffs and the Avs are officially done.
This marks Minnesota’s fourth consecutive playoff berth while Colorado has been unable to make the postseason for two straight years.
(Perhaps Patrick Roy will either be on the hot seat or closer to it?)
Injuries were a consideration for the Rangers, too, with bad news about Ryan McDonagh surfacing before this game. They lost another prominent defenseman during the game on Tuesday, as Dan Girardi suffered a scary fall from a hit by former Ranger Brian Boyle.
The good news for the Rangers and Lightning: they’re both in the playoffs. The bad news is that they’re showing some battle scars from these battles of attrition.