The NHL season has reached the midway point and now it’s time to start focusing on the playoffs.
Here’s what the Eastern Conference playoff bracket would look like if the playoffs began today.
RELATED: NHL Playoff Picture: Western Conference Bracket if Season Ended Today
NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Picture if the Season Ended Today
- No. 1 Atlantic Division – Boston Bruins vs. No. 2 Wild Card – Florida Panthers
- No. 1 Metropolitan Division – Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 1 Wild Card – New York Islanders
- No. 2 Atlantic Division – Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 3 Atlantic Division – Tampa Bay Lightning
- No 2. Metropolitan Division – New Jersey Devils vs. No. 3 Metropolitan Division – New York Rangers
The playoff picture has been shaken up for the first time in weeks. In the Metropolitan Division, the Islanders have moved past the Penguins and the Capitals for the first wild-card spot. In the Atlantic Division, Toronto and Tampa Bay continue to flip-flop the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds, while the Florida Panthers have fought their way to the second wild-card spot.
As evidenced by the movement in the standings, the competition is getting tighter.
The Bruins begin the week with 91 points, seven ahead of the second-place Hurricanes. The third through sixth seeds all fall within a range of four points. Looking just outside the playoff picture, the Penguins, Red Wings, and Capitals are on the bubble. All three teams have a shot at cruising past the Isles and/or Panthers for those final wild card spots.
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