Mar 2, 2011, 11:20 AM EDT
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 (March 2 -March 8th)
1. Philadelphia Flyers (40-16-6 for 86 pts; 62 Games Played)
Current streak: One loss.
Week ahead: Home vs. Toronto (Thursday), Buffalo (Saturday), @ Rangers (Sunday) and Oilers (Tuesday).
2. Pittsburgh Penguins (37-21-6 for 80 pts; 64 GP)
Current streak: One win.
Week ahead: Three away games – vs. Toronto (Wed), New Jersey (Fri), Boston (Sat) and one game at Buffalo (Tues).
Thoughts: The Penguins might be at risk of losing the fourth seed to the Washington Capitals. A tough next four games won’t help that.
3. New York Rangers (33-28-4 for 70 pts; 65 GP)
Current streak: Two losses.
Week ahead: Home vs. Minnesota (Thurs), @ Ottawa (Fri), home vs. Philadelphia (Sun).
Thoughts: At this point, the Rangers have fallen enough that the Hurricanes aren’t the only team in the top eight who might lose their spot to one of the bubble teams. They’re only three points ahead of the Sabres after losing to them on Tuesday.
4. New Jersey Devils (27-31-4 for 58 pts; 62 GP)
Current streak: One win.
Week ahead: Home vs. Tampa Bay (Wed), home vs. Pittsburgh (Fri), Islanders (Sun) and home vs. Ottawa (Tues).
Thoughts: Things aren’t looking very bright for the Devils right now, so they need to make the most of this week.
5. New York Islanders (23-32-9 for 55 pts; 64 GP)
Current streak: Four losses in a row.
Week ahead: Four home games – against Minnesota (Wed), St. Louis (Sat), New Jersey (Sun) and Toronto (Tues).
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- Leafs deny rift between Kessel and coaching staff 6
- Injured Crosby, Malkin will miss start of Pens’ camp 6
- Selanne rips Boudreau in book 17
- Just how damaging are heated negotiations between Jackets, RFA Johansen? 28
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 11
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 20
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 23
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 25
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 54
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (54)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)