The postseason is all about getting there. It may sound cliché enough when teams crow on about how the playoffs are a fresh start and a whole new season, but the Canadiens, Bruins and Flyers are now the co-poster kids of that mantra. Rather than lock up their postseason berths in January, the three remaining teams in the East waited until the dying moments of the season to squeeze into the big dance.
While the Western Conference waters have been far smoother this spring with the top two seeds poised to lock horns as the No. 1 Sharks meet the No. 2 Blackhawks, the upset festival in the East has seen all the favorites reaching for the Pepto-Bismol.
With the No. 6 Bruins, No. 7 Flyers and No. 8 Habs the only clubs still standing, a new upside-down standard is about to be set in the Eastern Conference. Thanks to the Capitals, Devils, Sabres and Penguins all requiring the Heimlich Maneuver this spring, none of the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference managed to crack the final four in this year’s playoffs – a first in the East since the NHL moved to a conference-seeding playoff format in 1994.
If this upsetting trend is a sign of what's ahead the rest of the way, the Habs and their fans might have eight reasons to smile come June.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com.
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