With the NBA on break and a month of March Madness on the horizon, we take the opportunity to check on the playoff races in the NHL today.
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Skating Toward the Playoffs
An Inside Look at the NHL Playoff Race With 30 Games to Go
It’s about time, eh hockey fans? The NHL has taken a back seat through the NFL Playoffs, Winter Olympics and NBA All-Star events, but this is your moment. The NHL season is 2/3 over with roughly 30-or-so games to play. That sets us up for a six-week skate to playoff hockey, and some surprise teams are turning heads. A busy Tuesday night required some highlights, too. Here’s a look at the NHL playoff picture as we race toward the postseason.
NHL Playoff Picture
1. Hurricanes (74 points)
2. Penguins (70 points)
3. Rangers (69 points)
1. Panthers (75 points)
2. Lightning (70 points)
3. Maple Leafs (68 points)
Wild Card: Capitals (65 points), Bruins (62 points)
In the Hunt: Blue Jackets (53 points), Red Wings (52 points)
1. Avalanche (76 points)
2. Blues (66 points)
3. Wild (65 points)
1. Flames (66 points)
2. Golden Knights (62 points)
3. Oilers (59 points)
Wild Card: Predators (62 points), Kings (59 points)
In the Hunt: Ducks (57 points), Stars (56 points), Canucks (54 points), Jets (52 points), Sharks (49 points)
Last Night’s Highlights
Is Rodgers Packing His Bags?
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers Posts Cryptic Instagram ‘Thank You’ to Teammates & Coaches
The next development in another offseason of the Aaron Rodgers saga has taken place. The Packers quarterback posted a cryptic instagram message on Monday night where he thanked his Green Bay teammates and coaches, along with his celebrity girlfriend, Shailene Woodley. Rodgers said Tuesday that his post was simply about gratitude during a time of reflection, and that he hasn’t yet made a decision about his plans for the 2022 season.
What Happens Next?
Packers WR Davante Adams is scheduled to become a free agent next month. The team can franchise tag him or sign him to a long-term deal in order to keep Rodgers happy. Early offseason reports have him linked to the Broncos, but the four-time MVP (and back-to-back MVP) is still under contract for one more season.
Speculation is everywhere, but only Rodgers knows his next move.
Pulisic, Blues Ride High in Leg 1
Champions League Knockouts: Chelsea Shut Out LOSC Lille (2-0), Juventus & Villareal Draw (1-1)
Another double-dose of Champions League drama took the pitch on Tuesday, and the holders walked away with a victory in Leg 1. Chelsea shut out LOSC Lille (2-0) despite the French side firing 15 shots. Kai Havertz (8’) opened the scoring before American star Christian Pulisic (63’) struck the knockout blow at Stamford Bridge. Over in Spain, Juventus jumped on Villareal early thanks to Dusan Vlahovic’s goal (1’) inside of the first minute. That was it for Juve, though. Villareal equalized in the second half before saving the draw. More action on the way this afternoon…
Benfica vs. Ajax (3:00 pm ET)
Atletico Madrid vs. Man. United (3:00 pm ET)
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Both sides are finally getting some serious face time with each other at the bargaining table, but neither has exhibited much willingness to budge. This week’s daily meetings are a sign of progression, but it’s still a staredown. (Sports Illustrated)
If there were medals for viewership, the year’s Olympics wouldn’t get anywhere near the podium. Figures released Monday show NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage in China drew the smallest audience in its history. (NPR)
The last two Lombardi Trophies have been won by teams with veteran quarterbacks in their first seasons with a new franchise. What effect will the 2020 Buccaneers and 2021 Rams have on team-building around the NFL? (The Ringer)