Who is going make the playoffs?
Well with all the deals that are going to happen after the deadline, we have to wonder, who is going to be in the playoffs come April.With the current standings as follows:
1. Carolina – 82 pts
2. Ottowa – 79 pts
3. Rangers – 78 pts
4. Buffalo – 77 pts
5. Philly- 75 pts
6. Tampa – 68 pts
7. Devils – 66 pts
8. Montreal – 60pts
9. Toronto – 59 pts
10. Thrashers – 58 pts
11. Boston – 58 pts
As of now I think the Rangers, Canes, and Sabres will come out on top. With Hasek possibly nursing an injury, and the absolute incredible play of the sabres as of late, I think they will pull through.
The top 5 seeds are pretty much a lock. 6-8 are not as clear cut. Yes the Lightning and Devils do have some cushion, but as we have seen earlier this year with Atlanta and Toronto, they can easily fall out.
I think Boston and the Thrashers will be there in the end as the 7th and 8th seeds. I dont think New Jersey will hold on. They have been WAY to inconsistent this season. Yeah it was nice that they went on a what 9 game run? But as of late they have slowed down considerably. If Boston can continue to get spectacular goaltending out of Thomas… I think they have a good shot to make it.
I also think the Thrashers have a good shot as well. There is just to much talent with Kovalchuk, Hossa, and Savard for them to not make it. I also think that Wadells guarentee will give them something to rally around. I live in Atlanta and attend quite a few Thrasher games, and it is a great hockey city with passionate hardworking players. This is a team that as we have seen can put together the wins together.
Now for the teams that are going to be left out. Ill start with the Islanders. Dipietro has shown the world that he can be a spectacular goaltender. Hes also shown that he can give up some pretty soft goals. Also there defense has been aweful. Sopel has massivly under produced. The only brightspot in there team right now is Campoli.
Montreal, Theodore is going to be to much of a distraction to there team. 9th for them. I doubt Huet can hold up this great goaltending for long. And they dont have much to trade as far as deadline deals go.
Toronto. This team is in absolute shambles. I give them 10th in the Eastern Conference. McCabe is there leading point man. Which is sad when you consider that he is a huge defensive liability. Rumours have it that Sundin might be moved and when you consider the fact that they have a pre-historic goaltender in Eddie Belfour, that says it all. This team isnt going anywhere for a while. Not when you sign guys like kaberle to a deal that gives them 2 million more then they are worth. Good luck Toronto fans, I hope you guys have enough sense to keep Steen, Wellwood, and Allison around.