The NHL has a knack for pushing things to the end. Blame it on the points system, with its three point games, or blame it on the shootout, or heck, blame it on the salary cap. No matter what is to blame, the NHL playoffs always seem to come down to the final day of the regular season, and this season is no different.
With the Chicago Blackhawks needing one more point to lock their spot in the post season, the Dallas Stars are in Minnesota hoping their game to finish out the entire NHL regular season schedule is a meaningful one. A Hawks loss and a Stars win over the Wild puts the Stars in the playoffs, and the defending Stanley Cup Champions to the golf course.
You have to love the NHL.
The story out East is written. All eight teams are in, all eight seeds are set. The match-ups are below, but the Washington Capitals will go in as the top seed, after the Philadelphia Flyers relinquished that spot despite holding it for most of the season.
Hockey in Minnesota is all but over, with a National Championship for the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs winning their first NCAA National Championship, and the Minnesota Wild going out with a whimper. Perhaps watching some of the best hockey in the world will keep people away from the ledge for a couple weeks.
Current Playoffs matchups:
Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks
San Jose Sharks vs Los Angeles Kings
Detroit Red Wings vs Phoenix Coyotes
Anaheim Ducks vs Nashville Predators
Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers
Philadelphia Flyers vs Buffalo Sabres
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens
Pittsburgh Penguins vs Tampa Bay Lightning