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NHL Playoff Race: Worst case scenarios all around, no help for the Lightning

All three games last night failed to fall the Lightning’s way.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

With the Lightning clawing their way back into the playoff picture since the trade deadline, and with the end of the season within sight, it’s time to start scoreboard watching.

For the Lightning to make it to the wild-card spot, or possibly even third in the Atlantic division, they’ll need some help along the way. Not only do they need to win their games, they need to win more games than three or four other teams that are also fighting for playoff spots. With this feature, we’ll review how other teams helped (or hurt) the Lightning, and who you should be cheering for. We’ll continue this either until the Lightning secure a playoff spot... or are eliminated.

For every game we review, we’ll determine a Best Case, OK Case, and Worst Case scenario for each game. For each review, we’ll determine which actually happened for the Lightning. With thanks to @ElSeldo of Pension Plan Puppets for the inspiration.

Last Night’s Games

This one is going to be pretty short. None of the games we were watching panned out the way the Lightning wanted. All three games were wins for the teams around the Lightning and all of them were in regulation. Couldn’t have been any worse of a result. If they were going to win, they could have at least done us the favor of doing it in the shootout. But no.

After last night’s games, the Lightning sit four points behind the Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic, three points behind the Bruins for the second wild card spot, and one point up on the Islanders and Hurricanes. The Bruins are the only team the Lightning have a game in hand on with the other three sitting at seven games to go.

  • Nashville Predators 1 @ Boston Bruins 4 - Worst Case
  • Detroit Red Wings 1 @ Carolina Hurricanes 4 - Worst Case
  • Florida Panthers 2 @ Toronto Maple Leafs 3 - Worst Case

Tonight’s Games that Matter

There are none! This Wednesday night slate only features four games and only two teams from the Eastern Conference are playing: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. Tomorrow night will be a big night, though, with the Lightning back in action at home against the Red Wings. The Islanders, Hurricanes, Bruins, and Maple Leafs will all also be in action. So check back tomorrow for all the details on those games.