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A Look at the Eastern Conference's Crazy Playoff Picture


CEDAvsFan

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God, I love the National Hockey League, and sh*t like this is why:

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Now, this picture doesn't tell the whole story, it only focuses on the second Wild Card spot in the East. In actuality, there are five teams competing for the remaining two playoff spots in the East. Here's the format for those new to the sport. Since the 2013-14 season, the league places the top three teams in each of the four divisions into the playoffs, so that takes up six of the eight playoff spots per conference. The remaining two spots per conference are determined via a Wild Card format regardless of division. Starting today, there were four days left in the regular season, which ends this Thursday. In the Western Conference, all eight playoff spots are clinched, and the Central Division title was awarded to the Dallas Stars, resulting in one playoff series locked in. The East has two spots left, and again, the pic doesn't tell the whole story, as the fifth team involved in this mayhem is the New York Islanders.

The Islanders are in a distant third place in the Metropolitan Division, behind the New York Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes, who are still jockeying for the division title. The Islanders can get into the playoffs if they defeat the Devils tonight, but there's still the matter of that second Wild Card spot. The Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins are all jockeying for that last spot, and it's been close and crazy for the last few weeks. 

The Flyers were actually in the Metro Division's top three, but they lost seven straight and fell out until they beat the Rangers recently. The Capitals have been on a hot stretch and are looking to return to the playoffs after missing out last year--ending an eight year streak. The Penguins' regulation loss to the Bruins on Saturday snapped a 10-game points streak (7-0-3), but they still have a good outside shot of reaching the playoffs for the 17th time in 18 seasons. As for the Red Wings, it's been seven seasons since they last reached the playoffs, and this is after the team made 25 straight playoff appearances. Many have said that this year could be the year that drought ends, but it's been up and down for Detroit this season.

Entering the final four days, Washington holds that playoff position. They, Detroit, and Philadelphia are all tied at 87 points, but Washington holds the first tiebreaker Detroit:  regulation wins. Washington has 30 regulation wins while Detroit has 27. Regarding Philly, both Washington and Detroit have a game in hand over the Flyers. The Caps and Wings have two games left, while Philly only has one. The Penguins are one point behind, but one more point would place them ahead of all three teams, as they have 31 regulation wins--more than all three teams. Pittsburgh and Detroit can be eliminated tonight, if they lose their games in regulation, it's curtains for them. Washington faces the Bruins tonight, but they and the Flyers will face each other on Wednesday in a possible elimination game for the clubs. The entire Eastern Conference will see their regular season end on Wednesday, as all of the games on finale night Thursday involve Western Conference teams. 

Here's my Youtube video about the race in the East:

 

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39 minutes ago, Caretaker said:

How do you see the playoffs starting for the EC?

I'm hoping the Penguins get that 2nd Wild Card spot, I do expect the Islanders to get in.

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23 minutes ago, CEDAvsFan said:

I'm hoping the Penguins get that 2nd Wild Card spot, I do expect the Islanders to get in.

How good are the Islanders' chances?

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