I sure hope the Pens grab the 2 or 3 and the Devils end up the 4 seed. I don't know that they will get through both the Caps and Devils, so hopefully those two end up on the same half and one of them, preferably the Devils, has to go down.
Re: Playoff scenario
Winning the Atlantic Division is huge, because as you mentioned, that would guarantee a 2nd or 3rd seed, and we would only have to face the Devils or Capitals in the playoffs, not both (one of those teams would have to knock the other off before they faced us in the Conference Finals).
Right now, we have the exact same record as New Jersey (45-26-7). We both have 2 home games and 2 away games left, and we both play at the same time on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings (well, their game starts a half-hour earlier than ours tonight, but the other three match-up exactly).
We've got the Caps and Islanders at home, then the Thrashers and Islanders on the road.
They have the Thrashers and Panthers on the road, then the Islanders and Sabres at home.
The strength of schedule isn't all that different. We face a strong playoff contender each (Washington and Buffalo), have a couple of games against teams that have already been eliminated (we have the Islanders twice and they have the Panthers and Islanders) and one game each against a team on the bubble (Atlanta).
The sequence of games may help us a bit, because Atlanta will be fighting for their playoff lives tonight against the Devils, but they may be eliminated by the time they face us on Saturday.
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State
Re: Playoff scenario
last night really put them in a hole
It can't be good for confidence either knowing that they very well may play against two teams that have completely outclassed them all season long.
Hopefully experience from the last two years pays off big and they turn it on and make the push for another cup. They have all the talent, they just need to put it together on a nightly basis now.