West Wide Open; East A Nine Horse Race
I was reading the TSN postgame report on the Flames' win over the Canucks last night and was surprised that they were only 5 points out of a playoff spot. After all, everyone expects the Flames to miss the post-season but a few games winning streak to put them right back in it.
And this is also true with virtually every Western Conference team chasing a playoff spot right now. A quick look at the standings lets us know how tight the competition is right now:
Only the dreadful Oilers are out of contention at this point, which should make for an extremely exciting finish in the West.
The East is quite the opposite.
I don't think any team out of the top 9 has a legitimate chance of making it at this point; none of those teams are consistent enough to close the 8 point gap separating them from the last spot.
So that means one of Carolina, Atlanta, Montreal and New York won't make it. If I had to bet, I'd put my money on Atlanta.