Tuesday Morning – NHL Photo Finish
The abbreviated season for the National Hockey League comes to a close this weekend and most of the teams have just three games left to play. As we had predicted a couple of weeks ago, the race to get into the playoffs is coming down to a photo-finish with several slots still remaining to be filled.
There are some real surprises in the Eastern Conference this year. Within the past couple of days both Philadelphia and New Jersey have been eliminated from post-season play. When is the last time that ever happened? And to confirm the topsy-turvy finish, Montreal has been leading their division for most of the season. Although today they are now tied with Boston and the B's have a game in hand. But the Habs have clinched a playoff spot along with Toronto who haven't been in the playoffs for umpteen years.
There are four teams competing for the last three playoff slots in the East, so it will be bruising. Washington has a one-point lead over Winnipeg for their division title and the Caps have a game in hand. They are playing each other tonight in a definitive matchup. If the Capitals win, then they clinch the division championship. This will be a good one and just might be switched onto one of the network telecasts for both U. S. and Canada. Let's hope so. NBC Sports is scheduled to show the Boston-Philly game, but with the Flyers now eliminated they would be wise to switch to the Caps-Jets game.
Over in theWestern Conference they have 7 teams still challenging for the last 4 playoff slots. Talk about a close finish! One of those teams is Columbus who are real strangers to the playoffs and will be sentimental favorites for that reason. But they are just one point ahead of the 9th-place team – Detroit! – and it will be a grueling finish for them. Stay tuned.
Last night the Anaheim Ducks clinched the Pacific Division title by defeating the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton 3-0. Here are the highlights from that game:
In what could be deemed a mild upset, Vancouver owned the Chicago Blackhawks last night to clinch the Northwest Division title. Chicago has already clinched their division plus the Western Conference championship. Here are the highlights from their game:
Before we get the office pool organized for the big finish, let's get the equipment check organized. And we'll need some coffee after this, so I'll get the Bunn-O-Matic back into the Lineup. See you back in the day room in a few minutes.
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