Playoff picture still blurry in the East

In as of now:         The Bruins, Flyers and Canadiens all have 82 points and 5 games remaining. Conventional wisdom would say that the higher seed you get, the better off you are. I will admit that, at the present moment, I would rather finish with the 7th seed than the 6th seed and play Buffalo instead of Pittsburgh, given each team’s recent playoff history. At this point, you can’t look at things like that though, as it is a matter of just getting in. Here’s a look at the remaining schedules of each of the three gridlocked teams:

  • Philadelphia Flyers (82 points, 5 games remaining)
    • Fri, April 2nd- vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m.
    • Sun, April 4th- vs. Detroit Red Wings, 12:30 p.m.
    • Tues, April 6th- @ Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
    • Fri, April 9th- @ New York Rangers, 7 p.m.
    • Sun, April 11th- vs. New York Rangers, 3 p.m.
  • Montreal Canadiens (82 points, 5 games remaining)
    • Fri, April 2nd- @ Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
    • Sat, April 3rd- vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
    • Tues, April 6th- @ New York Islanders, 7 p.m.
    • Thurs, April 8th- @ Carolina Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat, April 10th- vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
  • Boston Bruins (82 points, 5 games remaining)
    • Sat, April 3rd- @ Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
    • Mon, April 5th- @ Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.
    • Thurs, April 8th- vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
    • Sat, April 10th- vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 1 p.m.
    • Sun, April 11th- @ Washington Capitals, 12 p.m.

Outside looking in:         The two teams that have the best shot at overtaking the before-mentioned teams are the Atlanta Thrashers and the New York Rangers. The Thrashers have 80 points, 4 games remaining, and currently occupy the 9th seed. The Rangers have 78 points, 6 games remaining, and currently occupy the 10th seed. Personally, I like the Rangers’ chances more than the Thrashers at this point. The Rangers have arguably the more talented team, especially in terms of goaltending, and arguably the more favorable schedule. They don’t have to face the likes of Washington, Pittsburgh, and New Jersey, although those three teams may elect to rest players given their already secure playoff status. The extra game for the Rangers is what could ultimately be the determining factor. Here’s a look at each team’s remaining schedule:

  • Atlanta Thrashers (80 points, 4 games remaining)
    • Sat, April 3rd- @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 1 p.m.
    • Tues, April 6th- vs. New Jersey Devils, 7 p.m.
    • Fri, April 6th- @ Washington Capitals, 7 p.m.
    • Sat, April 10th- vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
  • New York Rangers (78 points, 6 games remaining)
    • Fri, April 2nd- @ Tampa Bay Lightning, 7:30 p.m.
    • Sat, April 3rd- @ Florida Panthers, 7 p.m.
    • Tues, April 6th- @ Buffalo Sabres, 7 p.m.
    • Wed, April 7th- vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m.
    • Fri, April 9th- vs. Philadelphia Flyers, 7 p.m.
    • Sun, April 11th- @ Philadelphia Flyers, 3 p.m.
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Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Boston Bruins Montreal Canadiens New York Rangers Philadelphia Flyers Playoffs

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