The Pittsburgh Penguins can finally clinch a playoff berth Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings. The Penguins magic number is just two points but has gone down slowly as the teams in the standings beneath the Penguins continued winning. However, the teams above the Penguins lost Monday night which gives the Penguins an opportunity to clinch their 12th consecutive playoff berth and climb in the standings.
Also, if the Penguins sleep against Detroit tonight, they could also clinch if Tampa Bay beats Montreal in regulation.
Looking up, it’s unlikely but the Penguins could catch the Washington Capitals to win the division. The Penguins divisional-win scenario: Win their final three games in regulation or overtime and Washington cannot gain more than one point over their last two games.
Monday night, Washington opened the door just a crack for the Islanders or Penguins to claim the division. Washington was burned in Florida, literally and figuratively. First, what happened (NBC Sports)
Remember when Evgeni Malkin was a “healthy” scratch because he was so severely sunburned in Florida he could not play? It looks like Andre Burakovsky almost suffered the same fate. Nick Backstrom looked a little crispy, too (RMB)
The Islanders also left the door ajar for the Penguins to snag home ice in Round One, if the teams do meet. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been trying to get in gear for the playoffs. If the Penguins beat Detroit Tuesday night the Penguins would get second place and home-ice advantage in Round One (New York Post)
At least John Tavares scored? The Islanders lineup is a nightly struggle and a juggle as they’re beset by injuries (New York Post)
Get this–Fans and media in Montreal are calling this season a success (Montreal Gazette)
But don’t count out Montreal just yet. Their roster reset has had good results (Sportsnet)
Columbus and Boston will strap on the foil Tuesday night. Columbus has quickly surged into the playoff seedings and could also clinch Tuesday night…with a little help from their friends (Columbus Dispatch)
Carolina is not happy with their defenseman prospect Adam Fox. You may have seen Fox star at the World Junior Championships in January. The Harvard product is gaming the system as others have done and won’t sign with Carolina this summer, which will make him a UFA next summer (News & Observer)
I was kind to Phil Kessel when analyzing his game. That was for your sake. Kessel must adjust his play. He’s not incapable. For Kessel, his goalless drought is not physical, it is mental (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)