Thursday, April 03, 2008
What's Shaking in the East
But with the Devils fighting for fourth, let's look at the rest of the East.
- With a 3-0 win over the Islanders, Our Hated Rivals have clinched a playoff spot. They sit in fifth and it's entirely likely that the Devils will play them in the first round. To be honest, despite the 7 losses against them this season, I don't think it's a terrible match up. I'll explain myself should that be the match up.
- Fighting for a return to glory, Ottawa dropped a hammer on the Toronto Rang...er..Maple Leafs. For a team that was once at the top of the East for much of the first half, they're fighting Our Hated Rivals to get back into fifth. Since both teams won, the Senators remain in sixth. Too bad Our Hated Rivals have a game in hand, so the Senators will need help to gain fifth.
- The Washington Capitals surged against Tampa Bay 4-1 tonight. Since Philadelphia was idle, they have technically slid into eighth. But they need help to get in to the playoffs. The Devils could certainly do that by beating the Flyers in regulation. That would be grand. The Devils helping to knock the Flyers out of the postseason. Maybe AO can dress up in Devils red for one game? (OK, that would be ridiculous...and wrong, but it'd be cool.)
- It's not possible for the Devils to catch the Penguins, as Pittsburgh did win last night. That's 102 points and the Atlantic Division and a top three seed for them. Good job for them and for doing so with a brand new superstar in Evgeni Malkin.
- Montreal had their game in hand on Pittsburgh and their 3-1 win over Buffalo ties them in points AND knocks the Sabres out. I guess losing Briere, Drury, Miller, and having numerous injuries made all the difference. Montreal has Toronto on Saturday and Pittsburgh has Philadelphia on Sunday. Should both teams win, the Penguins secure the conference with the first tie-breaker: wins.
- Philadelphia gets to "enjoy" the currently #4 Devils and the currently #1 Penguins for their playoff hopes. Poor Flyers! I love it. Does anyone have a tougher pair of games remaining in the East? I think not.
- The one point Boston got last night helps them stick around in the muck between fifth and eighth. Their splash page for their official site says: "GOTTA B HERE." Good to show some confidence that they'll make it. Too bad they got Ottawa next and the now-spoiling Sabres as their last game. That's almost as bad as Philadelphia.
- Carolina still leads the Southeast with 92 points. Washington has their last game against Florida (a should and must win for them). Carolina's last game? Tomorrow against Florida. While I think Washington holds the head to head series lead, some help for them will be nice. Up Capitals! Flyers Out!
- For everyone else? Mirtle has the press release for the 2008 NHL Draft Lottery. Also known as the Steve Stamkos sweepstakes.