Must-See NHL Games as Stanley Cup Playoff Race Reaches Fever Pitch

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Must-See NHL Games as Stanley Cup Playoff Race Reaches Fever Pitch
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

If you've given in to any annoying urges like the need to eat or sleep over the last week, then odds are you've missed some kind of shuffle or movement in the ever-changing 2013 NHL Stanley Cup playoff race. The standings have been a kaleidoscope, appearing a particular way one moment, and then suddenly shifting when you blink.

One week ago things were very different in the worlds of several NHL franchises.

In the Eastern Conference, it was the Montreal Canadiens and not the Boston Bruins in the lead for the Northeast Division crown. The Toronto Maple Leafs had yet to lock up a playoff spot, and the Ottawa Senators were enjoying a modest but comfortable four-point lead over the ninth place Winnipeg Jets.

The New York Islanders had also just jumped up to the seventh seed while maintaining only a three point barrier between themselves and the Jets.

Out West, the Minnesota Wild were sleeping a bit more soundly as they sat in sixth place, maintaining a four point cushion over the ninth place Columbus Blue Jackets. The Detroit Red Wings were clinging to the eighth seed, and the Phoenix Coyotes were still hoping to make the postseason.

A lot can change in a week as we can see, and a lot will change over the next five days of NHL action as well.

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