It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year for all hockey fans: Playoff Season! With only a week left in the regular season, things are heating up already. If you heard about the Flyers/Penguins brawl that occurred yesterday afternoon, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Now that most of the spots in the first round have already been clinched, this last week will be intense with the race to the eighth spot.
So far for the Eastern Conference the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators and the New Jersey Devils have all clinched spots. The Boston Bruins have clinched their division, so they will most likely get a spot, along with the Florida Panthers. So who will get the 8th seed in the East? It’s between the Washington Capitals and The Buffalo Sabres. The Caps currently have the upper hand with 88 points over the Sabres’ 86. The Caps also only need to win two games to get the spot while the Sabres need to win 3. This will all be decided when the regular season comes to an end this week.
In the West only 6 teams look to have spots right now. Both The Vancouver Canucks and The St. Louis Blues not only clinched their spots early but also clinched their respective divisions. The LA Kings currently are division leaders, so it is only a matter of time before they also clinch. Among the other Western Conference teams to gain spots in the playoffs are The Chicago Black Hawks, The Nashville Predators and the Detroit Red Wings. Since there are two spots left in this conference the teams that will be vying for spots are the San Jose Sharks, the Phoenix Coyotes and the Dallas Stars. This may come down only to the Coyotes and the Sharks as they are 91 and 90 and only need two more game wins to get a spot in the playoffs.
The official line-up of the quarter finals will be posted by the end of the week.