Buffalo's meaningless attempt at making the post is prolonged for at least another day, in their defeat of the Maple Leafs. And Columbus fought back to beat Chicago in a shootout, clinching their berth with the tie going into overtime. Anything after that was just gravy.
There's a couple of games to look out for tonight with 11 on the docket. The top six seeds in each conference are in, leaving the seventh and eighth spots up for grabs.
Thursday, April 9th
Montreal @ Boston - Montreal could still be a big flunkie for their Centennial. They have 93 points and sit in the seventh spot. Markov and Schneider are huge losses, but apparently Matty, who was out indefinetely could return to the lineup.
Buffalo @ Carolina - Ho hum, death to the Sabres, finally.
Philadelphia @ NY Rangers - It looks as if Philadelphia controls the destiny of the teams on the bubble in the East. If Rangers win, Buffalo dies. If the Flyers win, then Florida chances seem much brighter.
Florida @ Atlanta - Florida still has to win out. If they can't beat the Thrashers then they don't belong in the playoffs.
Nashville @ Detroit - The Predators have one of the best records against the winged wheel, but this is not an easy game by any means. Nashville needs the win otherwise its bye bye post.
Anaheim and St. Louis are idle tonight, so they'll be watching to see where they fall.
Those are the playoff implicating games right there. I'll be out for the weekend on holiday, so I'm going to attempt to cover the weekend as well with predictions of the outcomes.
Friday, April 10th
Nashville @ Minnesota - Even if the Preds can't do it at the Joe, they statistically still have a shot. They have to beat a non-playoff team to earn it.
Columbus @ St. Louis - The Blues control their own destiny if they win out, the Jackets have already won.
Dallas @ Anaheim - The Ducks are tied with the Blues with 88 points, but beat them and the Predators out with more wins. They only need one win to assure the playoffs, in my mind.
Saturday, April 11th
Saturday is another big day in the NHL with 13 games on the schedule, very few of them will influence postseason chances, but most of them will involve positioning within the eight seeds.
Washington @ Florida - a loss against Atlanta tonight will make this game meaningless. If they can win both of these, they still need New York or Montreal, or the teams they're playing against to help them out.
Anaheim @ Phoenix - Like I said above, Anaheim needs one of these games. At best, they'll probably only win one. At worst they could drop both completely aware of what they mean. That's the kind of season the Ducks have had. But not lately.
Other interesting games on Saturday:
Carolina @ New Jersey - Just how fucked are the Devils?
Chicago @ Detroit - The first of a home-and-home on the closing weekend of the regular season. Nice.
Pittsburgh @ Montreal - How fucked are the Habs?
Edmonton @ Calgary - The second of a home-and-home in this Alberta battle.
Sunday, April 12th
If it comes down to the wire, which it usually does...
NY Rangers @ Philadelphia - I wonder how hard Philly will play these two games against the Rangers. Knowing the mindset of Philadelphia, I would think pretty hard. The Rangers didn't make it easy on themselves.
St. Louis @ Colorado - Like I said about Florida, if the Blues can't beat not only a non-playoff team, but the worst one in the west, (which the Blues were not too long ago), then they don't deserve to get in.
And that's it! I'll be waiting for the draft lottery order after that on Tuesday, April 14th. Then its matchup time.