It’s the last weekend of the regular season! And for most teams, today is actually the last day of the regular season (thanks, snow storm).
However, things still aren’t quite settled yet in the Eastern Conference. While things aren’t nearly as up-in-the-air as they were on Wednesday or Thursday, there’s still plenty to be decided.
Today’s relevant games:
- New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers - 3 PM: A point for Philly clinches a playoff spot, ending the Cinderella run of the Florida panthers.
- Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Carolina Hurricanes - 7 PM: More on this one below.
- Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators - 7 PM: More on this one below.
So Philly’s got a big game today, but we’re focused on the Bruins. Here’s what to look for from tonight’s results:
If Tampa Bay wins in regulation or overtime...
Tampa clinches first in the Atlantic with 114 points, regardless of what the Bruins do the rest of the way. The Bruins could also finish with 114 points, but would lose the regulation/OT wins (ROW) tie-breaker.
If Tampa Bay wins in a shootout...
The Bruins finish first in the Atlantic if they beat Ottawa and Florida in regulation or OT; shootout wins won’t cut it. Both teams would finish with 114 points and 48 ROW; the Bruins would win the head-to-head tie-breaker.
If Tampa Bay loses in regulation...
Tampa would finish with 112 points, meaning Bruins would need at least three points in their final two games. Those three points could come in any fashion: shootout win and OT loss, regulation win and shootout loss, etc.
If Tampa Bay loses in overtime or a shootout...
Tampa would finish with 113 points, meaning the Bruins could clinch first by winning their final two games, whether they’re regulation, OT or shootout wins. If the Bruins got three of four points, Tampa would get first by virtue of more regulation/OT wins.
In all likelihood, it’s looking like a Bruins vs. Maple Leafs first-round match-up. To be honest, Tampa winning today wouldn’t be the worst thing, as it would allow the Bruins to rest guys against a (potentially) desperate Florida team tomorrow.
They’re likely still mad about that hit on Aleksander Barkov as well, so why risk injury?
If you want a more favorable match-up, you’re a big Carolina Hurricanes fan tonight!
If you just don’t want anyone else to get hurt, you don’t really care what happens today.