Toronto clinched a playoff birth for the first time in eight years. They are one of eight teams who have clinched a spot. The other seven clubs are the Chicago Blackhawks, Pittsburg Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens, and Los Angeles Kings. The Capitals can clinch the Southeast division with a win tonight over the Jets. If the playoffs started today, Montreal and Toronto, one of the fiercest rivalries in sports, would play each other. That would be something I would want to see.
Teams still fighting for a playoff spot are the Red Wings and Stars, who are chasing Columbus and Minnesota. Minnesota is on a bad run right now, and it looks like either Dallas or Detroit could knock them out of contention. In the East, Ottawa, both New York teams, and Winnipeg are in a race for the playoffs. The Islanders have 53 points, the Rangers and Senators have 52, and the Jets have 51. If the Capitals defeat the Jets tonight, I don’t see them making the playoffs.