Eastern Conference playoff subject is ready due to Capitals clinching

The Washington Capitals didn’t play on Sunday, however they had been nonetheless in a position to formally punch their ticket for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs due to the New York Islanders’ 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

That loss by the Islanders secured the Capitals’ playoff spot, making it the eighth consecutive season they’ve made the playoffs and the 14th time over the previous 15 years. The solely 12 months throughout that stretch that they missed was the 2013-14 season once they nonetheless completed with 90 factors, narrowly lacking out on a playoff spot.

Their eight-year streak is presently the second longest within the NHL, trailing solely the Pittsburgh Penguins who’ve made the playoffs in 16 consecutive seasons.

The noteworthy factor in regards to the Capitals clinching on Sunday is that regardless that there are nonetheless two weeks remaining within the common season, all eight playoff groups within the Eastern Conference at the moment are set.

Florida, Carolina, Toronto, Tampa Bay, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Washington would be the Eastern Conference playoff subject, with the one factor remaining to be decided is seeding and the First Round matchups. Florida appears safe on the high staff within the Atlantic Division, whereas Toronto and Tampa Bay appear like strong bets to fulfill within the 2-3 matchup of that division, leaving Boston as a probable Wild Card staff.

The Metropolitan Division stays somewhat extra undecided. The Hurricanes and Rangers are presently tied for the highest spot within the division with 104 factors, whereas Pittsburgh has a three-point lead over Washington for the third place spot with the Capitals having two video games in hand.

There are presently solely 4 spots (Colorado, St. Louis, Minnesota, and Calgary) within the Western Conference which are presently clinched.

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Adam Gretz is a author for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or observe him on Twitter @AGretz.

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