How will the top 3 teams in the East end the season?
Current Standing: 2nd
vs Bruins: 3-0-1
vs Devils: 2-0-2
Games Remaining: 5
Opponents: Sabres, Thrashers (twice), Lightning, Panthers
Current Standing: 1st
vs Capitals: 1-2-1
vs Devils: 2-1-1
Games Remaining: 6
Opponents: Senators (twice), Rangers, Canadiens, Sabres, Islanders
Current Standing: 3rd
vs Capitals: 2-2-0
vs Bruins: 2-2-0
Games Remaining: 5
Opponents: Lightning, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Senators, Hurricanes
I think the Boston Bruins will remain atop the East once the season reaches its conclusion. They have a hefty 7-point lead on the Capitals, and I think it will be too hard for the Caps to catch up. The Bruins will be facing the hardest opponents in my opinion with the Rangers, Canadiens, and Sabres all fighting for playoff spots. Their performance has been improving after going into a little bit of a slump they have won their past 4 games.
The Devils have the easiest schedule out of the three teams but have the lowest performance going winless in their past 6 games. I don’t see them catching up to the Caps even though they are only 3 points behind. Martin Brodeur hasn’t won a game since his win to break the all-time wins record. The only thing positive right now for the Devs is Zach Parise who is 2nd in the league in goals, and he should be a huge factor for them in the playoffs.
Consistent with the other two teams in this discussion, the Caps have been a little inconsistent lately. Jose Theodore has been good enough for the Caps to make the saves he needs to get in order to get wins. Also, Washington’s top players have been outstanding with Ovechkin, Green, Semin, and Backstrom leading the squad. They will end up in 2nd, but I think they will make a run at the Bruins and fall a bit short. The key for the Caps is to get production out of their mid-level players like Brooks Laich and Michael Nylander. Let’s hope I’m wrong though and the Caps get first in the East.