Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Which Eastern Conference Team Will Take the 8 Seed?

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Which Eastern Conference Team Will Take the 8 Seed?
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With about a month left in the NHL regular season, the Stanley Cup Playoff picture is starting to shape up. Some teams, such as the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins, have pretty much secured their spot and are trying to finish strong.

However, towards the bottom of the Eastern Conference, there are five teams that are all looking to lock up the last spot and save themselves from going golfing in the second week of April.

In this article, I will look at those five teams and try to determine who has the best chance of getting the eighth seed. These teams are currently in eighth through 12th in the conference, but despite their standing, are not that far out of the picture.

In order to make the best decision, I will look at each team's current record, and their strengths and weaknesses. Even the best teams have weaknesses, but these are exposed when a team is fighting for its playoff life.

Next week, I will look at the Western Conference teams outside the playoff picture.

Please note that all statistics in this article are as of the end of games on Thursday, March 8.

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