Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup Playoffs: Can they win the East?

For the vast majority of the campaign, as the Washington Capitals have clung to their spot atop the Metropolitan Division, the Pittsburgh Penguins defied all manners of injury, the Tampa Bay Lightning surged up the standings and the Boston Bruins padded their lead in the Presidents’ Trophy race, the Eastern Conference has been viewed by some as a battle between only a handful of legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

Sure, there are others in contention. The New York Islanders, before a recent slide, were a divisional threat. The Toronto Maple Leafs have all the talent to get the job done. The Carolina Hurricanes, too, seem built for the post-season, though they wake up Thursday on the outside of the wild-card race looking in. Even bubble teams such as the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets, who are hanging on despite an overflowing infirmary, have gotten their share of ink.

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