NHL playoff picture: We're rooting for a lot of evil tonight

Bruce Bennett

Tuesday's NHL action will impact the idle Flyers, and we're going to have to root for a lot of evil.

It's safe to say we're not all that confident in the Flyers' ability to qualify for the postseason this year, and their chances are all the way down at just 5.4 percent according to Sports Club Stats. Only Colorado, Buffalo and Florida have worse odds to make the playoffs, but hey, we might as well keep an eye out on the playoff chase for the hopeful among us.

There are six games in the Eastern Conference this Tuesday evening, and every single one of them will impact the Flyers chances at making a run at the playoffs. With five full days between games, the Flyers really need other teams to help them out right now. So let's run through all six games and figure out our rooting interests.

For reference, the Flyers enter the evening with 27 points through 30 games. They sit in 12th place in the conference. And remember Rule No. 1 of scoreboard watching: Always root for regulation results. Always, always, always.

#9 Rangers (28 gp, 30 pts) at #8 Devils (29 gp, 32 pts)

This is a tough one to gauge. The Devils sit on the plus side of the playoff bubble, but they've played that extra game over New York. Ultimately, we want the playoff picture to stay more compact, and we don't want teams on the plus side of the playoff bubble to gain ground on the Flyers.

If neither team could take home points tonight, that'd be ideal, but the better outcome for the Flyers here would be to have the Rangers win in regulation. That would put both teams at 30 points through 30 games and 29 games, respectively, with the Flyers just three points back. You'd rather have be three points behind both than one point behind one and five points behind the other when climbing over that one team will just put you in better non-playoff standing.

#5 Senators (29 gp, 36 pts) at #10 Islanders (28 gp, 29 pts)

The Flyers aren't getting to fifth place. They need to catch the Islanders. Go Sens Go.

#15 Panthers (29 gp, 20 pts) at #3 Hurricanes (28 gp, 32 pts)

Aw, we're sorry Carolina. We didn't mean it.

#14 Sabres (29 gp, 24 pts) at #2 Canadiens (28 gp, 42 pts)

... ugh. Rooting for Montreal?

#13 Capitals (28 gp, 25 pts) at #1 Penguins (30 gp, 44 pts)

Washington would tie the Flyers in points, with one extra game to play, should they get two points against Pittsburgh tonight. I refuse to say it in writing, but you know what we need here.

#4 Bruins (27 gp, 41 pts) at #7 Jets (29 gp, 32 pts)

Alright, screw it. We have to root for New York, Pittsburgh, Montreal AND Boston tonight? I'd rather just miss the damn playoffs.

For a full breakdown of tonight's NHL action with TV information, game times and starting goalies, check with SBNation.com.

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