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)
- Montreal Canadiens (82 points, 5 games remaining)
- 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)
- New York Rangers (78 points, 6 games remaining)