Playoff Race Clusterf**k, Apr. 6
The Sabres eliminated the Maple Leafs, handed the Capitals the Southeast Division title, and reduced their magic number to 2 by defeating the Lightning 4-2 on Thomas Vanek’s hat trick. The Canadiens climbed back into 6th place, locked up their playoff spot, and knocked the Sabres back into 7th by beating the Blackhawks in OT. The Senators helped the Capitals move into sole possession of first place in the conference by pulling off an unlikely 5-2 win over the Flyers.
The only bubble team left – the Hurricanes – has to win out for them to make the playoffs, and then they still need help from outside the organization. They certainly do not control their own fate at all. Otherwise, all that remains for the top 8 teams is jockeying for position and resting star players.
The only game that really matters tonight is the Detroit at Carolina contest, in which the Sabres can clinch their playoff spot with a Hurricanes loss. Tonight, Sabres fans are all rooting for the Red Wings.