In just a little less than a week, we will enter the NHL Playoffs. As more and more teams clinch their spots, we begin to look towards home-ice advantage and seeding. We can already imagine the top teams in the playoffs, but the final top positions and the benefits that come with them can make the difference between lifting the Stanley Cup and going home disappointed.
Tampa Bay Striking Fast and Hard
It is looking good for the Tampa Bay Lightning heading into the final stretch before the NHL Playoffs. As last year’s winners they have many reasons to be excited about their postseason prospects.
Not only is there spot in the playoffs well-secured, but they are well within striking distance of the top seed in the Central Division. Plus, they have more games left in the regular season than the two teams ahead of them.
Plus, they have a special stat on their side: they are undefeated this year at 25-0-0 when they enter the third period with a lead. This may seem simple enough; holding on to a lead is easy. But at such consistency it becomes impressive.
This particular stat becomes important when you realize that the last two teams to do so, 2015-16 Pittsburgh Penguins and 2014-15 Chicago Blackhawks, went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The Oilers Clinch a Postseason Spot
On Monday the Edmonton Oilers officially secured their playoff spot with their 5-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks. The Oilers are second in the All Canada Division, currently six points behind the top-spot Toronto Maple Leafs.
However, the Oilers have played one fewer game and are on a hot streak. Even if the jump to the top seed would be tough, they are going into the NHL Playoffs with the wind at their backs.
And Monday’s game was only the start of a four-game series between the Oilers and the Canucks. This is good for fans in Edmonton, as the Canucks are dead last in the North Division, likely giving the Oilers the opportunity to rack up plenty of points and close that gap with the Maple Leafs.
Bruins Secure Spot in Top 4 of East Division
Congratulations to the Boston Bruins who have clinched their NHL Playoff spot for the fifth consecutive year. They did so in a smashing win on Monday Night over the New Jersey Devils. At 3-0 the Devils never really stood a chance.
The Bruins only needed one point to secure their spot in the top four in the East Division over the New York Rangers.
With this final clinching, all four spots in the playoffs from the East Division are set. However, the seeding is still very much up in the air as these four teams continue to battle it out for home-ice advantage.
New York Islanders
With only four points separating all four playoff-bound teams, all seeds are within reach of any of the teams. No one is out of this quite yet.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.