Countdown to the Playoffs

April 1st, 2011 by WLOY Staff

As the regular season to the NHL is winding down, teams are seeking for wins to leave their last marks before the playoffs begin.  Sixteen teams will be invited for the chase of the ultimate goal; the Stanley Cup.  There will be eight teams from the Western Conference and eight teams from the Eastern Conference.  The NHL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the hockey season.  The energy is raised across the board from every team that has been lucky enough to make the playoffs.  Each and every game is just as exciting as the next.

In the Eastern Conference, four teams have already clinched playoff births as four more teams are still in the hunt.  The Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston Bruins, and the Washington Capitals have all earned a spot for the 2011 playoffs.  Four more teams from the Eastern Conference are all looking to make a late season push as the regular season is coming to an end.   However, in the Western Conference only one team has clinched a playoff birth.  The Vancouver Canucks are the only team in the entire conference who have locked a spot in the playoffs.  This means there are still seven spots open for team who hope to make it to the playoffs.  The Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks are both conference leaders and are most likely lock in teams for the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Flyers lead the conference with 102 points and have an overall record of 46-20-10.  The Flyers have six remaining games left for the regular season.  The Washington Capitals are next with 99 points.  They have gone 44-22-11 and have five games remaining.  The Boston Bruins have 96 points and went 43-23-10 with six games remaining.  The Pittsburgh Penguins sit behind the Flyers in the Atlantic Division with 98 points.  They are 45-24-8 on the season and have five games left. The four remaining spots are still open but the New York Rangers,Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadians, and the Tampa Bay Lightening have all made drives as the regular season has come to a halt.  However, there are still more teams in contention such as the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, Atlanta Thrashers, and the New Jersey Devils all look to make a massive push for a spot in the playoffs.

The Vancouver Canucks have dominated the Western Conference with 111 points and an overall record of 51-17-9 with five remaining games left in the regular season.  The seven remaining spots for the Western Conference are up for grabs.  The Detroit Red Wings, San Jose Sharks, Phoenix Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings , Nashville  Predators, Anaheim Ducks, and the Chicago Blackhawks have all made it to the top of the division standings.  Although, these lead the first eight spots in the Western Conference there are still some teams in contention such as the Dallas Stars, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As all of these teams have either five or six games left in the regular season, each team will be pushing harder and harder to try and make it to the 2011 playoffs. The countdown to the playoffs is right around the corner, and teams need to make one final push if they want a chance at the 2011 Stanley Cup.

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