After Friday night’s NHL action saw both the Vegas Golden Knights and St. Louis Blues book tickets to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there are four possible clinching scenarios on a busy Saturday.
First off, let’s start with the playoff berths:
• The Toronto Maple Leafs can lock up a spot in the post-season with a point in the latest edition of the Battle of Ontario. If the Leafs can’t at least force overtime against the Senators, however, they can still clinch a place in the tournament if the Winnipeg Jets beat the Montreal Canadiens, who are in the midst of a fight for their playoff lives.
• The New York Islanders‘ Saturday clinching scenarios are also linked with the Habs. A win over the Buffalo Sabres would be enough for the Isles to get in, but if they fail to do that a single point and a Montreal loss OR a Canadiens regulation loss will get Barry Trotz’s squad into the dance.
• It’s simple for the Dallas Stars: a win Saturday night in Vancouver clinches a berth in the post-season.
Now for the Calgary Flames, who can clinch both the Pacific Division and the Western Conference without even taking the ice.
• The Flames will be division winners for the first time since 2005-06 if the slumping San Jose Sharks fall to the Golden Knights in regulation.
• Calgary will clinch top spot in the Western Conference on Saturday if the Sharks lose in regulation and the Jets lose to the Canadiens. The Flames haven’t finished the regular season atop a conference since 1989-90.