The Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils are leaving the Atlanta Thrashers behind in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
All three teams won home games Thursday night to remain tied for sixth place, seven points ahead of ninth-place Atlanta in the race for the final three spots in the eight-team conference playoffs.
HATE, HATE, HATE
Man, being a Toronto Maple Leaf might just be the toughest spot in sports. Every day it’s how much you suck.
The official end to the season – unofficially, it ended last Saturday in Montreal – is going to be agonizingly slow for Pat Quinn and his squad, and, other than the final number of points this former 100 point squad accumulates, the issue appears only the timing of the post-season moves that all are expecting.
Based on history, the Leafs will screw that up, as well.
Chris Therien wasn’t expected to be back with the Flyers this season, and he is not expected to recover from his lingering concussion symptoms in time to play any more this season. So when the Flyers needed to make room for their most recent acquisition, Therien’s locker was cleaned out.
The move, coach Ken Hitchcock said, was not about Therien, but about making space for Ryan Potulny, the Flyers’ 2003 third-round draft pick who was signed to a 2-year, $1.6 million contract on Wednesday.
“He’s going to stay with us and as he gets some more practices under his belt and gets some more rest – he just finished a long season and it was a tough finish for him – and as he moves along to next week we’ll take a hard look at him,” Hitchcock said.
“But one day out of the box, I’ve got to tell you he looks like a very, very smart, skilled player and you can’t have enough of those.”