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March is here, and the season is really starting to wind down. It’s still very close in both conferences nearly all around. Only the Rangers are capable of cruising down the stretch East-wise, but even that won’t happen with the President’s Trophy being hotly contested as well. Four divisions are still tightly up for grabs as well, which means plenty of drama down the stretch, so let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Thursday, March 1, before the day’s games:
3-6-1 in their last 10 have the Sharks falling fast. St. Louis has won four straight, and almost match the Red Wings in home prowess. San Jose will need to right the ship in a hurry if they want to do much of anything against the Blues’ potent home record and defense.
Nashville‘s doing well, but they still have to contend with a 26-3-2 home record in Detroit. Detroit may not be the best road team (kind of pedestrian, actually), but they have the overall momentum on their side.
New Jersey may have lost three straight, but Boston has been shut out five times in February. Their defense hasn’t been terrible, but Boston just can’t seem to get on the right track. At this time of year, any turnaround from New Jersey will be likely to bring them an upset.
Florida has won three straight, but they still easily have the worst goals for and goal differential stats of any playoff team. Philly may not be doing as well as they thought they’d be, but they still have the raw power and the road record to push their way past Florida.
Pittsburgh has won four in a row, and has passed the 200-goal mark. Ottawa isn’t far behind in that respect, but has a much worse defense. It’s not that Ottawa won’t give Pittsburgh a fight, but Pittsburgh’s goaltending will be enough to get them through.
Tags: Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NHL Playoffs, Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals