Wednesday’s game schedule started with 12 playoff spots available and 12 days left in the regular season. It ended with 11 spots and 11 days. In a shootout-losing effort to the Buffalo Sabres, the Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot. Teams are running out of time with most having only 5 games remaining on their schedule to either clinch their spot or get into the playoffs altogether.

Eastern Conference Standings

Who’s In?

As of this afternoon, the Top 8 in the East are; Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, NY Islanders, and NY Rangers. In the West; Chicago, Anaheim, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Jose, Minnesota, St. Louis, and Columbus.

In the East, the top 4 teams are all but certain to finish were they currently sit(with the exception of Boston/Montreal). In the West, it’s not as concrete with only 4 points separating teams seeded 3 through 6. However, there are some similarities in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. The 9th and 10th ranked teams in both conferences have the best chance to get into the playoff picture and in my opinion, the Top 5 teams in each conference will make the playoffs.

Western Conference Standings

Outside Looking In

Winnipeg/Buffalo in the East and Detroit/Dallas in the West. Those are four teams that are currently out of the playoffs but still have a chance to go on a run to get into the playoffs.

Winnipeg has 5 games remaining, are in the midst of a 4-game winning streak, and are tied with the Rangers for the 8th spot but they don’t have the tie-breaker advantage. Buffalo has 4 games remaining, they’re 2 points out, and are riding a 3-game win streak of their own. Detroit has 5 games left and are only 2 points out of the 8th spot. Of these four teams, I think Dallas has the best chance of getting back in. With 6 games remaining and only being 4 points out, the ball is completely in their court.

There’s still a lot of time to jockey for position for most teams. The regular season ends on April 28th. Playoffs start in less than 2 weeks. Can you feel it?

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