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East Division Playoff Field Complete With Bruins Playoff Clinch

The Boston Bruins clinched the East Division's last playoff spot, setting up an interesting race for seeding on the final days.

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 3 min read
Boston's "Perfection Line: Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron

On Monday, the Boston Bruins defeated the New Jersey Devils, 3-0, to lock up the last remaining playoff spot in the NHL's makeshift East Division. For the Bruins, this is their fifth straight postseason, and they are two years removed from falling one win short of winning the Stanley Cup, while also coming off capturing the Presidents' Trophy last season. The playoff clinch comes mainly due to the efforts of the famed "Perfection Line," consisting of Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron; however, they have finally managed to get production from other lines, mainly thanks to acquiring Taylor Hall at the trade deadline this season. Vezina winning goalie Tuukka Rask has also played a role, though with his long injury hiatus, backups Jaroslav Halak and Jeremy Swayman have picked up the slack and racked up the key saves needed to keep Boston in the thick of things.

So with Boston's playoff clinch, all four East Division spots are full. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals both clinched in a game against each other on Thursday, and the New York Islanders locked in a spot on Saturday. But not everything is solved, of course, as now, seeding is a factor. The first two rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all divisional; similar to the format that was used in the NHL from 1982 to 1993. This means that the top two teams will have home ice in the Division Semifinals, while the division winner gets both rounds worth of home ice.

The race in the East is very tight, with the Capitals and Penguins tied atop the division with 71 points, though Washington has one game in hand over Pittsburgh. The Bruins moved in the 3rd place with 68 points, as the Islanders' 4-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres knocked them down to fourth. Regarding remaining schedules, the Capitals will remain at MSG to face the Rangers on Wednesday, but after that, back-to-back home games against the Flyers on Friday and Saturday, and a home game against the Bruins to end their regular season on May 11. The Penguins will remain in Philadelphia on Tuesday, and will end their regular season with home games against the Sabres on Thursday and Saturday. The Bruins have five games remaining, beginning with the second half of the back-to-back in New Jersey on Tuesday, followed by home games against the Rangers on Thursday and Saturday, a home game against the Islanders on May 10, and a game in Washington on May 11. The Islanders will remain in Buffalo on Tuesday, host the Devils on Thursday and Saturday, and will end their regular season in Boston.

It does seem like the Islanders have the easiest schedule, as they have three games left against the bottom of the East Division, though considering their loss in Buffalo, nothing really comes easy to the Isles. The Penguins have only three games left, but two are at home against the Sabres, and they are the only team who does not face a playoff team for the rest of the regular season. The Capitals definitely have the toughest draw, as out of their four games, none of them are against New Jersey or Buffalo. The recently eliminated Rangers have played teams tough, so fans of the Penguins could take some solace in the fact that the Rangers could make things tough for the Caps. In any event, the final days of the East Division's regular season will be interesting to say the least.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

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