Desperate to find meaning in the last game of this long season, here’s what I’m hoping for in the last three days of NHL play. The last three spots in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt are still wide open, with Boston, Montreal, Philadelphia and New York all in the hunt. Montreal’s only remaining game is against Toronto on Saturday night, while New York and Philly have a home and home this weekend.
So, now that the Leafs have no chance of moving out of the Eastern Conference basement, the only thing good that can possibly come out of Saturday’s matchup with their archrivals is that with a win and some help, Toronto can eliminate Montreal from playoff contention and set up quite the Northeast Division golf tournament for playoff failures.
New York will need to win both games against Philadelphia in order to secure a playoff berth. However, if Philly loses both games in regulation, they’ll finish with one less point than Montreal, regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s matchup at the Bell Centre. The Flyers do hold the tiebreaker over Montreal, with more wins, so all they have to do is force overtime in one of the two games, and the Leafs will have a chance to get at least a little satisfaction out of an otherwise disappointing season. Oh, and the Bruins have to win one of their last two games as well.