Friday, April 03, 2009

Just One More Win

With one more win and two points...
  • The Washington Capitals can clinch the Southeast Division crown (two years in a row).

  • The Boston Bruins can clinch the Eastern Conference crown (seems inevitable).

  • The Vancouver Canucks can surpass the Calgary Flames for lead in the Northwest Division (that is if the Flames lose their next game).

  • The Florida Panthers can tie the 8th place New York Rangers with a game in hand (Rangers drop from first to worst).

  • The Tampa Bay Lightning still won't make the playoffs (oh snap!).

  • The Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks can solidify a playoff spot.
The middle section of the Eastern Conference standings looks to be a dog fight for fourth place and home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Carolina, with their win over the Rangers, takes the coveted spot leap-frogging the Flyers and Penguins.

The most points the 'Canes can acquire are 101 points with their four games remaining. If the Caps win tonight that means they take the divisional crown and at least solidify home ice advantage.

Florida can still make the playoffs if they can catch the New York Rangers. That seems more plausible now with the way the Rangers seem to be going backwards. Plus the Panthers have a game at hand on the Rangers, so they must better their pace against the Broadway Blues.

The Buffalo Sabres are not mathematically out of the running. They have two games on hand against the Rangers. But they will need at least 8 points in their remaining games in order to do it. That is assuming the Rangers lose their remaining four games, which is possible since they play Boston, Montreal and a home and home with the Flyers to close out their schedule. Currently, the Sabres stand 6 points from 8th place.

Speaking of Buffalo, the Sabres and the Capitals duel this evening at the phone booth. One will be playing for their post season lives, the other will be fighting for a divisional crown. Both teams are looking for two points, the Caps are the only ones that can afford a single point.

No comments: