Here’s the latest Eastern Conference standings, as three teams fight
for two playoff spots.
There is still some very important seeding to be figured, on top of
the battle for the bottom two playoff spots. The New Jersey Devils and
Pittsburgh Penguins are locked in a fight for the Atlantic division
title, and while the Canadians, Flyers, Rangers and Bruins all want to
just get into the playoffs, finishing anywhere other than 8th in the
conference would be ideal as well.
After the jump, remaining games and seeding possibilities for the
1. Washington Capitals (120 points)
game: vs. Boston Bruins, Sunday @ 12:30 p.m. EDT
2. New Jersey Devils (99 points)
games: vs. NY Islanders, tonight @ 7 p.m. EDT; vs. Buffalo Sabres,
Sunday @ 3 p.m. EDT
Seeding possibilites: The Devils are
deadlocked with the Penguins in points and record, but hold the
tiebreakers over Pittsburgh. Win out, and New Jersey is assured of the
division title and the #2 seed.
3. Buffalo Sabres (98
Remaining games: @Ottawa Senators, tonight @
7 p.m. EDT; @New Jersey Devils, Sunday @ 3 p.m. EDT
possibilities: The Sabres can finish no lower than 3rd in the East,
and could be playing for the 2nd seed tomorrow afternoon against the
4. Pittsburgh Penguins (99 points)
games: @Atlanta Thrashers, tonight @ 7 p.m. EDT; @NY Islanders,
Sunday @ 5 p.m. EDT
Seeding possibilities: The Penguins
need the New Jersey Devils to lose of their remaining games, since if
both teams win out then New Jersey will win the division title. The
Penguins can finish no lower than 4th in the East.
Senators: (94 points)
Remaining game: vs. Buffalo
Sabres, tonight @ 7 p.m. EDT
Seeding possibilities: None.
The Senators are locked in the 5th seed.
6. Boston Bruins:
Remaining game: @Washington Capitals,
Sunday @ 12:30 p.m. EDT
Seeding possibilities: The Bruins
are assured a playoff spot, but could finish either in 6th or 7th.
Tomorrow’s game against the Capitals will not be a first-round preview,
as neither the Flyers nor the Rangers can overtake the Bruins. One point
against the Caps, and the Bruins get the 6th seed.
Montreal Canadiens (87 points)
Remaining game: vs.
Toronto Maple Leafs, tonight @ 7 p.m. EDT
The Canadiens desperately need just one point, and they are assured
a playoff spot. They can finish no higher than 7th, but lose tonight
and the Habs face the possibility of missing the playoffs. How? If the
Rangers win over the Flyers in overtime or the shootout, with a Habs
regulation loss, then the Habs will be the odd team out with 87 points
and losing on tiebreakers.
8. Philadelphia Flyers (86
Remaining game: vs. NY Rangers, Sunday @ 3
Playoff implications: Simple, win and the Rangers
are in the playoffs. As stated above, the Flyers could back into the
playoffs with an overtime or shootout loss if the Habs lose tonight. If
Montreal gets just one point against Toronto, then tomorrow’s game
becomes a win-and-in scenario.
9. NY Rangers (86 points)
game: @Philadelphia Flyers, Sunday @ 3 p.m. EDT
implications: Win and the Rangers are in the playoffs. Even an
overtime or shootout loss does them no favors.