Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/9/13
Aside from the (nearly) immortal Chicago Blackhawks, both conferences are wide open this season. No team is further than six points out of a playoff spot entering action on Saturday, and the top five teams points-wise in the East are separated by a mere four points. As far as the West is concerned, Anaheim and Vancouver have stayed competitive while Chicago has opened up an eight-point lead in the standings. Each division has been extremely competitive this season, especially with points being at a premium. The Northeast is certainly the closest of the bunch, Montreal enters Saturday holding a slight lead over Boston, Toronto and Ottawa. The Northeast will more than likely go down to the final week of the season, moving forward with four out of five teams being competitive. The Atlantic division was certainly the strongest last year, and it remains competitive in 2013. Pittsburgh currently sits atop the division with 32 points, but all five Atlantic teams remain in the playoff hunt. Then there is the Southeast, but the less said about that division, the better. The Hurricanes lead the pack for now, but it’s anyone’s guess who will emerge as the likely No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Out west, Chicago is running away with the Central but the rest of the division still houses some strong teams. Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis all remain competitive with great chances to make the playoffs. Anaheim is leading the Pacific, which is arguably the strongest division out west. The surprising Ducks have 37 points, while the Kings, Sharks and Coyotes are all holding or on the cusp of playoff berths for now. The weakest division out west is probably the Northwest, where the Canucks currently lead. Minnesota is staying competitive, but the division will be lucky if they send two teams to the playoffs this season. With such parity throughout the NHL, it should make for an entertaining end to this season. While there hasn’t been any cross-pollination between the conferences yet — and there won’t be until the Stanley Cup Final — the six division races are certainly heating up at the season’s midway point. Take Our Poll

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal

Bill Walton goes shirtless during ESPN broadcast to the dismay of one woman

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker