Another busy night on the NHL schedule with 13 games set to be played and 4 important games to be played. In the east, Atlanta plays Washington and Toronto takes on the NY Islanders. I have pretty much counted Atlanta and Toronto out of the playoff hun for a week or so now but with just 3 or 4 games left we have to still consider the possibility that either one of them could still make it. Why? Because Tampa has horrible goaltending and could easily lose 2 or even all 3 of their final games. Here are the remaining games for each team:
Tampa: Carolina (Friday), Carolina (Saturday) and Washington (Tuesday)
Atlanta: Washington (tonight), Boston (Saturday), Washington (Monday), Florida (Tuesday)
Toronto: Islanders (tonight), Ottawa (Saturday), Buffalo (Sunday), Pittsburgh (Tuesday)
Atlanta clearly has the easiest schedule as they don’t play a single playoff team while Tampa has a couple of tough games against Carolina and Toronto has tough games against Ottawa and Buffalo. Tampa currently holds a 4 point lead on Atlanta and a 5 point lead on Toronto but with more wins than either team they should get the advantage of winning any tie breaker situation so that is a definite plus for them. I think if Tampa can manage to win 1 of their final 3 games they will make the playoffs but should they happen to lose all three there is a good chance they will booking tee-times next week.
In the west things are pretty much down to a 2 team race for the final playoff spot with Edmonton currently holding a 1 point advantage over Vancouver. Edmonton plays tonight against Anaheim and Monday against Colorado while Vancouver plays tonight against San Jose and Saturday against Colorado.
(Note: Los Angeles is not officially eliminated but they need to win all 3 of their games and Edmonton to lose both their games and Vancouver to not get more than a single point. Certianly possible but highly unlikely)
|New Jersey||-111||Philadelphia||110||New Jersey||Some|
|Pittsburgh||129||NY Rangers||-141||NY Rangers||Good|
|San Jose||-135||Vancouver||126||San Jose||Some|