Key storylines for the end of the NHL regular season

Key storylines for the end of the NHL regular season




With three days remaining in the NHL regular season, there are still playoff races and individual titles to be settled. A look at some of the key storylines for the final weekend of the regular season:

One playoff spot remaining

Only one playoff spot remains undecided in the NHL. The Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning at home Thursday, thereby failing to clinch that spot.


The Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Lightning all remain alive for that one spot. Toronto still holds a three-point lead with a pair of home games remaining against the Pittsburgh Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets, two teams that are locked into their respective seeds and have nothing to play for.

Tampa Bay faces Montreal tonight, the only game on the NHL schedule, needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive.

The Leafs could finish as high as second in the Atlantic Division or miss the postseason entirely.


Connor McDavid closes in on scoring title

Connor McDavid has 97 points for the Edmonton Oilers this season. He has a nine-point lead over Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane in the race for the Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader).

At 20 years and 86 days on Sunday, McDavid would be the third-youngest player to win a scoring title in the modern era, trailing only Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.


Crosby chasing Maurice Richard trophy

Sidney Crosby has a four-goal cushion in the race for the Maurice Richard Trophy, which is presented to the player who leads the league in goals.

Crosby is seeking his second Richard Trophy (he shared the award in 2009-10 with Steven Stamkos when each had 51 goals).

Unless Crosby manages seven goals in his final two games, this will be the first time the Richard winner will score fewer than 50 goals in an 82-game season since 2003-04. In that season, Rick Nash, Ilya Kovalchuk and Jarome Iginla all tallied 41.