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12/03/19 Playoff Picture

Monday, 19.03.2012 / 12:36 PM / News Articles
By Eric Postma
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12\/03\/19 Playoff Picture
Although no team in the Eastern Conference has yet clinched a playoff berth, nor has any team officially been eliminated from content, the playoff race has essentially boiled down to a three-horse race between the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets. Washington is currently in the lead with 78 points, clinging on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NYR 71 44 20 7 195 158 95
2 BOS 71 41 27 3 228 178 85
3 FLA 71 35 23 13 180 197 83
4 PIT 71 44 21 6 231 180 94
5 PHI 72 42 22 8 231 204 92
6 NJD 72 41 26 5 198 187 87
7 OTT 73 37 26 10 221 213 84
8 WSH 72 36 30 6 193 205 78
9 WPG 72 34 30 8 192 203 76
10 BUF 72 33 29 10 180 204 76
11 CAR 73 29 29 15 194 217 73
12 TOR 72 32 32 8 208 219 72
13 TBL 71 32 32 7 199 240 71
14 NYI 72 29 32 11 169 216 69
15 MTL 73 28 32 13 191 203 69
Although no team in the Eastern Conference has yet clinched a playoff berth, nor has any team officially been eliminated from content, the playoff race has essentially boiled down to a three-horse race between the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets. Washington is currently in the lead with 78 points, clinging on to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Jets and Sabres are right on the Capitals tail with 76 points.

Sunday night's 4-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes was a disappointing blow to the Winnipeg Jets playoff hopes. With only 10 games remaining in the 2011-2012 NHL regular season, the Jets need to take advantage of every opportunity possible to gain ground. The Washington Capitals also lost last night, a 5-2 defeat by the Chicago Blackhawks. There was a huge opportunity for the Jets to close in on the Capitals last night, but if there is any comfort it is in the fact that neither team moved up on the board.

TONIGHT'S KEY MATCH-UPS:

Buffalo Sabres at Tampa Bay Lightning (6:30 PM)

The Sabres have made a late season push to be included in the playoff conversation. They are fighting for every single possible point lately, having pushed their last four games to overtime or a shootout. They have lost their last two match-ups, a 3-2 defeat to the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche last Wednesday, both shootout decisions.

Tampa Bay is currently sitting in 13th position in the Eastern Conference with 71 points, but a big push on their part, coupled with some key losses, could vault them back into the playoff discussion. They have dropped their last two games to St. Louis and Toronto, and will likely only play the role of spoiler down the stretch (exactly what the Jets are hoping for on Monday night).

Ideal Jets Outcome: Lightning Win

Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings (6:30 PM)

Another loss by the Capitals on Monday night could present a huge opportunity for the Winnipeg Jets. The Capitals head into Joe Louis Arena on a recent two-game skid, having been dropped 5-2 by the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night, and losing 3-2 in Winnipeg on Friday.

The Red Wings are on a rare four-game losing streak and have slid a bit lately, going 3-6-1 in their last 10 games. Detroit currently sits in fifth place in the Western Conference with 92 points. The Western Conference powerhouse Wings however have been outstanding at home this season with a record 28-4-2 while at the Joe.

Ideal Jets Outcome: Red Wings Win

OTHER MATCH-UPS:

  • Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (6:00 PM)
  • New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (6:30 PM, TSN2)
  • Vancouver Canucks at Minnesota Wild (7:00 PM)
  • Anaheim Ducks at San Jose Sharks (9:00 PM, TSN2)

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