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Fantastic finish ahead for competitive '10-11 season

Wednesday, 04.06.2011 / 1:09 PM / Countdown to the Playoffs

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Fantastic finish ahead for competitive '10-11 season
NEW YORK -- With just 38 games remaining over the concluding five days of the 2010-11 regular season, the National Hockey League's incomparable competitive balance is highlighted by the myriad match-ups still possible when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next Wednesday night. Of the 19 clubs still chasing a Stanley Cup dream entering Wednesday night's action, only the Vancouver Canucks -- who have clinched the Presidents' Trophy for the League's top regular-season record -- is certain of its placing in the standings when the 186-day, 1,230-game season concludes Sunday.

In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins have just two games remaining on their schedule yet still could finish anywhere between first and fifth. In the West, the Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks could end up anywhere between fourth place -- holding home-ice advantage in a first-round playoff series -- and 10th, missing the post-season and holding a top-15 pick in the Entry Draft this June.

EASTERN CONFERENCE
Team Current Rank Games Remaining
Possible Finish
Washington
1st
2 1st, 2nd or 3rd
Philadelphia
2nd 2 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th
Boston
3rd 3 1st, 2nd or 3rd
Pittsburgh
4th 2 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th
Tampa Bay
5th 2 4th or 5th
Montreal
6th 2 6th, 7th or 8th
Buffalo
7th 2 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th
NY Rangers 8th 2 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th
Carolina
9th 3 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
Team Current Rank Games Remaining Possible Finish
Vancouver
1st 2 1st
San Jose 2nd 3 2nd or 3rd
Detroit
3rd 3 2nd or 3rd
Nashville 4th 2 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th
Phoenix 5th 3 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th
Los Angeles 6th 3 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th or 9th
Anaheim 7th 3 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th
Chicago 8th 3 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, or 10th
Dallas
9th 3 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th
Calgary 10th 2 7th, 8th, 9th or 10th




Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres