Notes about tonight's games and tomorrow's preview as it relates to the playoffs.
Tonight's games (involving Eastern Conference teams):
- Canes 4 - Rangers 2: A loss of any kind by Carolina would have clinched the division for the Caps. As it stands, the Canes move up to the 4 seed while the Rangers fall to the 8 seed (and hold a tiebreaker over the Panthers given their 3-0-1 record head to head). Bottom line, the Caps still need 1 point to clinch the division.
- Canadiens 5 - NYI 1: With the win, the Canadiens now control the 7 seed. They have 1 point and 1 game in hand on the Rangers. How does everyone feel about facing them in Round 1?
- Bruins 2 - Senators 1: The Bruins need only 2 points to clinch the conference and now have a 9 point lead on the Caps. This game also eliminated the Sens from playoff contention. Flags in Ottawa fly at half-staff eh? (Note: Ray Emery's house not included) NJD has officially been eliminated from contention from the 1 seed.
Tomorrow's games (involving Eastern Conference teams):
- Sabres @ Caps: Of note, the Sabres should come into this game hungry. They are not yet eliminated though it's looking dicier by the day. Their tragic number is 7 (Rangers). One point for the Caps clinches the division. Our boys need 8 points won by us/lost by NJD to clinch the 2 seed.
- 'Ning @ NJD: The Devils are still chasing the Caps for the 2 seed. The Ning were eliminated several games back. Root for the Ning to help the Caps clinch the 2 seed.
- Leafs @ Flyers: The Leafs have been eliminated, but the Flyers are fighting for home ice in the first round. They also have an (extremely) outside shot at passing the Devils for the 3 seed. Despite the screwy standings, the Flyers actually control the #4 seed over Pittsburgh (MN is 11 for the 4 seed).
- Thrashers @ Panthers:Panthers need a win to put the pressure on the Rangers for the 8 seed. Who would you rather see Boston face? NYR, Florida or Montreal?
You can also see the updated Playoff Tracker here. Note that in the tracker, I don't account for tiebreakers. Actually, the Rangers control the 8 spot, though they currently have to win out.
Best case Scenario for tonight:
Win for the Caps, regulation loss for the Devils. The Caps would clinch the Division and be only 4 points from the 2 seed.