Thanks to Comcast not showing the Caps/Panthers game the other night (well, not until 0130, anyway), I didn't see the game until I'd found out the result (verdammt radio). So I missed the beatdown the Caps put on them, alas.
That put the Caps at winning three of the last four games, as I'd hoped. It left us four points up on Philly, with them having two games remaining and the tie-breakers, ROW and goal differential. So it wasn't until Philly's (overtime) loss to Buffalo tonight that we clinched the Conference title (not that it matters too much, given the lack of trophy and Caps home record in game sevens).
Still, good to have.
And as a minor note, I'd called our last two games against Florida a home-and-home series, but I hadn't noticed that that wasn't the case. Florida had to get their rears handed to them by Tampa again tonight in between the two games, it seems.
So, what did we find out tonight? Caps win conference. Buffalo (by virtue of beating Philly) will be in the playoff mix. Carolina is in, for the moment, and will stay there if they can beat Tampa tomorrow. If they lose, the Rangers can still sneak back in. Pittsburgh now holds the tie-breakers over Philly, and can retain second in the conference by beating Atlanta on Sunday. Atlanta, for its part, seems to want Carolina in the playoffs, seeing as they destroyed the Rangers and were crushed by the Hurricanes. If Boston wins two while Pennsylvania loses two, the Bruins can still sneak ahead of both of them. And the West is still very jumbled up at the bottom, but will probably be much clearer when the games being played right now finish.
So where does that leave us? Hoping that Mike Green is healthy enough to play tomorrow, and that no one is injured in tomorrow's game. And a win would be nice, but definitely isn't worth killing ourselves over.