Feb 16, 2011, 11:00 AM EST
Every week, we’ll provide updates for each division. The biggest contenders and/or closest races will receive the greatest amount of attention.
Bold = playoff contender; Italics = likely lottery fodder.
Atlantic Division outlook (February 16 -22)
1. Philadelphia Flyers (37-14-5 for 79 pts; 56 Games Played)
Current streak: One win.
Week ahead: Three road games: vs. Florida (Wednesday), vs. Carolina (Friday), Rangers (Sunday) and one home game: vs. Phoenix (Tuesday).
Thoughts: Once again, the Flyers’ biggest opponent is in a different conference: the Vancouver Canucks. It’s between Philly and Vancouver to take the Presidents Trophy right now.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (35-19-4 for 74 pts; 58 GP)
Current streak: Two losses.
Week ahead: @ Colorado (Wed), @ Chicago (Sun) and against Washington (Mon).
Thoughts: The Penguins are in survival mode, especially until/if they make a trade. It doesn’t seem like passing the Flyers is much of a goal at this point.
3. New York Rangers (30-24-4 for 64 pts; 58 GP)
Current streak: One win.
Week ahead: Home vs. Los Angeles (Thurs), @ New Jersey (Fri), home vs. Philadelphia (Sun), @ Carolina (Tues).
Thoughts: After losing six games in a row, the Rangers finally earned a win against the free-falling Penguins. They should be well-rested coming into a tough six-day stretch.
4. New York Islanders (21-29-7 for 49 pts; 57 GP)
Current streak: Four wins in a row.
Week ahead: Three home games: vs. Boston (Thurs), vs. Los Angeles (Sat), vs. Florida (Mon) and @ Toronto (Tues).
Thoughts: The Islanders and Devils both seem to be on some odd winning streaks. Is it all to make the Ottawa Senators’ lives easier, or what?
5. New Jersey Devils (22-30-4 for 48 pts; 56 GP)
Current streak: Four wins.
Week ahead: Home vs. Carolina (Wed), home vs. Rangers (Fri), @ Carolina (Sat) and @ Dallas (Tues).
Thoughts: This turns out to be an interesting week for the Devils. Two wins (especially in regulation) could be a good gap-bridging for the Hurricanes, while they play two other games against playoff caliber teams who are struggling mightily. It’s an interesting chance for the Devils, although it could just as easily be a final shutting of the door.
- Video: Projected rise in salary cap could have some players ‘licking their lips’ 6
- Discuss: Blackhawks score big on Rivalry Night on NBCSN 34
- Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games 75
- Cowen gets two-game suspension for hit on Girgensons 12
- Rangers must consider Callahan’s injury history in contract talks 13
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more! 32
- Report: Isles coach Capuano not seen as problem 11
- Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Flyers challenge top-ranked Blackhawks 18
- Update: Ryan Callahan out 4-6 weeks with MCL sprain 15
- Four goals: Ovechkin wills Caps to stunning shootout win vs. Bolts 63
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (182)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (156)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (138)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (132)
- Orpik suffers from concussion, including memory loss (118)