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Blue Line Buzz: Pleasant Surprises

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci

Dan Pennucci has covered hockey for Rotowire since 2002 and is the author of Blue Line Buzz since 2011 as well as being the co-author of Morning Skate. He also is a contributor to Talking Red, a New Jersey Devils blog and podcast. He is an English teacher and formerly wrote for The Coast Star in Manasquan, New Jersey where he and his sports section won several New Jersey Press Association awards. Dan Pennucci is a supporter of the New Jersey Devils, Washington Nationals and Chelsea FC. He's attended sporting events in six countries.

With the season coming to a close this week, there are just a handful of compelling playoff races to be had in the final eight days. The two wild card spots in the East will be fought out between Detroit and Columbus with the Devils and Toronto nipping at their heels. Toronto entered play on Saturday just one point out of the postseason even after losing eight straight games in regulation before a win this past Tuesday over Calgary. The Devils have not played nearly consistently enough to deserve a spot in the postseason, as evidenced by their nine-round shootout loss to Buffalo, also this past Tuesday. The Devils are 0-for-11 in shootouts this season with a “success” rate of 3-for-39. (Two of those conversions came in Tuesday's loss as they entered the game 1-for-30. Seriously, 1-for-30.)

In the West, the top six slots are decided save for home

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