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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