With the 2012 NHL playoffs lapping at the shores of our excitement, it’s time to break down the last-minute seeding and the final standing scenarios.
The playoff participants may be set, but the contention for where the team will land and who they will face off against has come down to the last night of the season.
A schedule full of games across the NHL has every team prepping for the big run towards the playoffs. If you were thinking about watching the NHL at any time, now is the time to enjoy and fall in love.
Welcome to April Madness.
1 New York Rangers (109 Pts) vs. 8 Washington Capitals (90 Pts)
2 Boston Bruins (100 Pts) vs. 7 Ottawa Senators (92 Pts)
3 Florida Panthers (92 Pts) vs. 6 New Jersey Devils (100 Pts)
4 Pittsburgh Penguins (106 Pts) vs. 5 Philadelphia Flyers (103 Pts)
1 Vancouver Canucks (109 Pts) vs. 8 San Jose Sharks (94 Pts)
2 St. Louis Blues (107 Pts) vs. 7 Los Angeles Kings (94 Pts)
3 Phoenix Coyotes (95 Pts) vs. 6 Chicago Blackhawks (99 Pts)
4 Nashville Predators (102 Pts) vs. 5 Detroit Red Wings
President’s Trophy Race
1 Vancouver Canucks (109 Pts) vs. 1 New York Rangers (109 Pts)
Washington at NY Rangers
With a potential first-round matchup preview helping to add fuel to this fire, the Rangers will look to put their stamp on the President’s trophy and set the tone for the playoffs by beating down the Washington Capitals in New York.
Edmonton at Vancouver
Vancouver is also in the driver seat, with the lowly Edmonton Oilers coming into town. The Canucks need the Rangers to lose in order to have a chance to take the President’s trophy, but they also have to win themselves before any of that even matters. Cross your fingers Canucks fans.
Team Most Likely to Raise the Cup
With a serious question in net, the Flyers will depend on their potent offense to make a deep run. If Ilya Bryzgalov comes back healthy and strong, Philadelphia could be looking at a lengthy run.
The Vancouver Canucks are a powerhouse in the regular season, but they have not had the Stanley Cup success the city of Vancouver needs. If Roberto Luongo finds consistency, the Canucks can be deadly.
The defending Stanley Cup champions come into this season after seeing their championship hangover screw up the first portion of the season. Once the team shook the rust off, they played amazing, and they will be a favorite as long as Tim Thomas is in net.
Check back for more on the National Hockey League as it comes, and check out Bleacher Report’s NHL Page to get your fill of all things hockey.