The top teams in each of the three Eastern Conference Divisions (
Atlantic, Northeast and Southeast) are automatically
seeded 1, 2 and 3 in the standings and all will make the playoffs no matter
what. Then the top five other teams in points make the playoffs too. The
Panthers could actually finish 9th in the Eastern Conference but if
they are at the top of their Division they would be in the playoffs and in fact
be the #3 seed (or 3rd seed if you prefer it stated way). In the
playoffs the #1 seed plays the #8 seed, the #2 seed plays the #7 seed, the #3
seed plays the #6 seed, and the #4 seed plays the #5 seed. The highest seed
always gets home ice advantage. The same type of procedure is carried over into
the 2nd Round and the 3rd Round; and, then the winner of
the Eastern Conference goes to the Stanley Cup Finals to meet the winner of the
NHL Eastern Conference Standings as of Wednesday, February 15.
Okay, now I would like to share what I am seeing and my predictions regarding which eight teams will be in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
The New York Rangers, the Boston Bruins, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins will all make the playoffs—as everyone knows.
The New Jersey Devils will almost surely make the playoffs, barring a total collapse. The Devils have played great since the All-Star break and I highly doubt that they will fall apart. Remember last year they made a hard run at the playoffs after a horrible start and gave some teams a scare despite falling short. I believe that the Devils can do a lot of damage in the playoffs and could even go all the way if they get great goaltending—which they have not had this year. Am I crazy? Let us look at the Devils record against the Bruins, the Rangers, the Flyers, and the Penguins. The only team out of those four that
The Florida Panthers are currently on top of the Southeast Division and are therefore the #3 seed. The Capitals are only 4 points behind (but have played one more game). I believe that the Caps will find a way to win the Division. If I am right about that the Panthers could still make the playoffs if they keep playing well.
currently has one less point than the Senators but 4 games in hand. Florida
Yes, that brings me to the Senators. They were tired from the All-Star break but appear to have recovered and beat the Lightning 4-0 on Tuesday.
should be strong
enough to hold their ground and get the 7th or 8th
playoff spot. Ottawa
The Islanders or the Canadiens could pull off a huge upset and make the playoffs if they put together some winning streaks and had some help in the form of the Senators, Panthers or Capitals collapsing.
The tension and excitement is building and it will be interesting to see who will earn the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.