As of Thursday morning, the Eastern Conference standings regarding the eighth and final playoff spot are:
In a previous article, “NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Picture,” I predicted that
would make the playoffs and be a huge threat to every team in the Conference
except the Bruins—based on past games played this year. I stated that the
Devils can actually win the Conference and even win the Stanley Cup if their
goaltending improves (which it has been). I also predicted that the Senators
would make the playoffs. The only team that has not come through in my
predictions has been the Capitals, and it really is a surprise to everyone. I
feel that they are still going to take the eighth playoff spot from the Leafs
and then not look back; however, anything can happen because now the Jets and
Lightning have been brought back into the picture due to poor play by New Jersey .
Honestly, I would much prefer the Lightning or the Jets in the playoffs than
the Capitals. Washington
The Winnipeg Jets just won’t go away and they have decided to battle right until the end, thanks to the inspiration from the great fans in
. The players believe that
they can make it and they just might. Winnipeg
The Lightning have made four trades in the last week, and at least three of the four trades were excellent and beneficial for the team now and in the long-run. Yes, I am saying now as well because any time you can get rid of a dirty bastard like Steve Downie it is a great inspiration to the team. Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkos must be celebrating; and, in fact, Stamkos notched his 41st and 42nd goals the night of the trade! Nobody will catch Stamkos in goals now because Malkin is the closest to him and he has 33, nine behind. However, Malkin is still the favorite to win the Hart Trophy because he has 73 points to Stamkos’ 70, and Malkin has played six fewer games. If Stamkos can continue his pace and get the Lightning in the playoffs then it could be a lot closer. I say this because the biggest problem with the Lightning has been poor goaltending, especially Roloson.
Well, with the Capitals squandering many opportunities we have a very tight battle in the Eastern Conference, just as we have in the Western Conference. It will be exciting to see who wants it more!