Approaching 25 games left in the NHL season finds no team in the Western Conference out of the tight playoff chase.
St. Louis and Colorado, tied for last in the West, are just eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot. Plus, they have more points than five teams in the East. Now that’s a tight conference!
The playoff picture is a bit clearer in the East with only Carolina and Pittsburgh in contention to crack the top eight postseason slots. Speaking of the East, hats off to Washington’s Mike Green, who broke a 25-year-old NHL record for defensemen by scoring at least one goal in eight straight games.
Green now has 22 goals on the season. A second coming of Bobby Orr would not be a bad thing.
And now to this week’s slate:
Tuesday, Feb. 17
Ottawa at Colorado: Could be too little, too late for the Senators but they have won four straight. The Avs broke a four-game slide with emotional OT road win at Detroit. COLORADO.
Toronto at Buffalo: The three previous games in this series totaled 5 goals or less and all under the total. And Buffalo was blanked Sunday. UNDER.
Wednesday, Feb. 18
Los Angeles at Anaheim: The Ducks will be loaded for Kings blood after allowing eight goals at home to Atlanta. ANAHEIM.
St. Louis at Columbus: The Blues have allowed two goals or less in 11 of their last 18 games. The host Blue Jackets have allowed just five goals during a four-game win streak. UNDER.
Thursday, Feb. 19
Buffalo at Philadelphia: The Flyers are rested, off a big road win over the Rangers and beat the Sabres 3-0 in the earlier meeting at Buffalo. PHILADELPHIA.
Friday, Feb. 20
Colorado at Washington: The Capitals will be a heavy favorite, so giving 1½ goals is an option we like. Green should get another goal here. WASHINGTON.
Saturday, Feb. 21
New Jersey at NY Isles: The Devils are 4-0 against the Islanders, with three of the wins coming in New Jersey. The Islanders began the week on a five-game losing streak. So what else is new? Again, give the 1½ goals. NEW JERSEY.
Sunday, Feb. 22
Minnesota at Chicago: Each side has traded 4-1 victories. We’ll pulling for a third at a projected total of 5½ goals. UNDER.