Monday, March 28, 2011

Bruins Clinch, No Eliminations Tonight

Yes, the Boston Bruins were able to clinch their playoff spot on Sunday with a 2-1 win over the Flyers, sealing them in as the fourth Eastern Conference team to clinch.  The Bruins hold a 7-point edge on the Canadiens in the Northeast Division race, working their magic number down to three (estimated) for the title.  If they can continue this roll they are on, they may be able to catch Washington, who only lead by 4 points, but they have been hot as well, even without Alex Ovechkin.

Only two games on the Monday schedule and both are Western Conference games.  The Blackhawks and Red Wings go head-to-head, while the Avalanche travel to Anaheim for a game against the Ducks.

The Blackhawks and Red Wings could put some added pressure on the teams on the outside looking in on the playoff picture tonight, because if Chicago wins, they will be 3 points up on Calgary and 4 points up on Dallas, tightening the grip on a playoff berth.  If Chicago was to beat Detroit in regulation, the Canucks would also clinch home-ice through the Western Conference playoff picture.

If the Red Wings were to win, this would give the 9th and 10th place teams a little bit more hope, especially Dallas, who will then have a game in hand over the Blackhawks and only a 2-point deficit.  The Red Wings would not be able to clinch their spot tonight, however, but their magic number would drop down to three.

The Ducks are poised to strengthen their hold on a playoff spot with a visit from the lowly Avalanche tonight.  The Ducks have a 2-point and 2-game cushion on the Flames and a win would also put them in the conversation for home-ice in the 1st round of the playoffs, bringing themselves only 1 point back of the Kings and 2 points back of the Coyotes.

The Avalanche are long since dead... no more needs to be said about that.

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