The Atlantic Division remains unchanged yet again in terms of position, but everyone's got something to play for. The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders aren't mathematically out of the running for the postseason. The New York Rangers need points to avoid falling out of the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins aren't as far away from first int he Atlantic Division. The Philadelphia Flyers need to keep winning to maintain their hold on the division and the Eastern Conference.
Please continue after the jump to see what the week lies ahead for each of the five teams in the Atlantic.
The last week saw the Devils and to a lesser extent the Islanders move closer to striking distance of a playoff spot. They both picked up 6 points in the last week. Both would still need plenty of help to get ahead; but so far, they're getting the results needed.
|Potential Points||Last Week||Conf. Position|
Unfortunately for them, the Rangers also put up a winning week, something they badly needed to do to stave off the fear of collapsing. It's unfortunate for the Devils and Isles because any chaos up around the 7th and 8th seeds benefits them (as well as Toronto, Buffalo, Carolina, and Atlanta). For all three, it's a low week for this but they need to get points if only to avoid their fellow teams in the East from blowing past them.
Up at the top of the division, the Flyers get to use up the game in hand on Pittsburgh. They should be really, really, really close to a guaranteed berth for the playoffs at 91 points. However, they have a really, really, really hot Washington team just three points behind them in addition to their in-state rival being behind by only five. Getting that extra win would really help their cause.
The Flyers will be on the road for each of them (and Devils and Isles fans would like them to win the first two games). Here's how the week ahead breaks down for each team:
|PHI||@ FLA||@ ATL||@ DAL|
|PIT||vs. EDM||@ OTT|
|NYR||vs. NYI||vs. MTL|
|NJD||vs. ATL||@ OTT||vs. WSH|
|NYI||@ NYR||@ CAR||@ FLA|
Tuesday is a big day. Everyone plays and it has the sole inter-division game: another chapter in the long-standing Islander-Ranger rivalry. The game's important for both sides, so expect a rather intense affair. Pittsburgh's week is especially notable in that they get four days off this week. They, like some other teams (e.g. Devils), will have a busier schedule next week so they should enjoy it as much as possible. Still, they need to get points as to avoid falling from where they currently are and/or keep hope alive of moving ahead. Just like the Rangers, Devils, and Islanders.