The Philadelphia Flyers may see their astounding hot streak end and make the situation more complicated, but right now, it’s looking a lot like a playoff spot might come down to one of the Detroit Red Wings or Boston Bruins.
Saturday already presented Red Wings fans with the unpleasant thought of Pavel Datsyuk leaving for Russia as early as the end of this season, so imagine the discomfort that would come from losing to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
That didn’t happen, even if the Buds made it uncomfortably close in an eventual 3-2 Red Wings win.
Let’s take a wider look at the race for the East’s lower playoff spots:
As you can see, Detroit takes the Atlantic’s third spot from Boston thanks to this decision, yet the Bruins hold a game in hand to possibly flip-flop the two.
Meanwhile, the current wild card teams are comparably comfortable when you consider games in hand in particular.
The most important factor to remember might just be how much control the Red Wings have over this situation. The Red Wings face the Flyers in Detroit on Wednesday and the Bruins in Boston on Thursday before their season-ending game against the Rangers.
To state the obvious, those matches could make a huge difference in these races, especially if they end in regulation.
It wasn’t pretty tonight, and it really hasn’t been very pretty all that often for the Red Wings lately. Despite this bumpy ride, Detroit could still reach the finish line if they stay on track.
/runs out of racing metaphors