Feb 24, 2012, 12:18 AM EDT
Earlier this week, PHT broke down how wide-open the lowly Southeast Division really is. If that evidence was insufficient, chew on this: the Winnipeg Jets climbed up to first place tonight after they held off the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3.
The Jets seemed like they’d win a laugher when it was 4-0 but the Bolts made it more interesting with a three-goal third period, including No. 43 for Steven Stamkos. (Stamkos now has a 10-tally cushion against Evgeni Malkin in the Rocket Richard Trophy race.)
Now, it’s true that Winnipeg’s divisional lead is a little misleading. They have 67 points (30 wins – 26 in regulation/OT) in 63 games played while the Florida Panthers (66 points, 27 wins – 24 in reg/OT) have four games in hand and the Washington Capitals (63 points, 29 wins – 28 in reg/OT) have three more.
Still, recent mediocre play from the Panthers and Capitals lends the Jets some confidence and their cushy schedule should help them stay on track.
With all that in mind, it should be an awfully interesting – if sloppy – stretch run for the worst division in the NHL.
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- Speedy recovery: Giroux (lower body) to play vs. Rangers tonight 9
- Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition 13
- Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand 5
- Bruins release Leino; Boychuk staying put? 18
- Babcock doesn’t think this will be his last year with the Wings 9
- Starting tomorrow, PHT’s ‘Risk Factors’ Series 6
- Krug, Smith sign with Bruins 19
- PHT Morning Skate: Grigorenko with highlight-reel shootout goal 7
- Sabres lose Larsson, Kaleta to head injuries, Leafs’ Booth out too (Update: Franson’s hurt) 5
- Jordan Subban has ‘moved on’ after ‘unfortunate’ photo caption by Vancouver papers (52)
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Sabres’ Nolan, Avalanche don’t believe in analytics (32)
- Ouch: Datsyuk (separated shoulder) out 4-5 weeks (27)
- Spooner scores, but coach Julien’s not happy (23)