Hockey East Tournament Playoff Picture Comes Into Focus

Pat Cannone #20 of the Miami Redhawks and Patch Alber #27 of the Boston College Eagles chase after the puck on April 8, 2010 during the semifinals of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With just one weekend remaining in the Hockey East regular season, the Tournament playoff picture is simple for the Eagles: win out, and BC will capture its conference-best 11th Hockey East Regular Season Championship and first since 2005. 

The Eagles trail the Wildcats by a point in the Hockey East standings, so any combination of 3 or more points -- win-win, tie-win, win-tie -- will give BC the Hockey East regular season title. New Hampshire can win the title by securing 2 or more points, and need just one win in the final two games against BC.

The Hockey East regular season title race is down to those two teams -- BC and UNH. Both have secured home ice for the quarterfinals and BU, Merrimack and Maine can no longer catch either program. Pretty simple, really.

The rest of the playoff picture? Cloudy, at best. 

With a poor showing this weekend, the Eagles can actually all the way down the seedings to as low as fourth, with both BU and Merrimack passing BC for second and third place.

Currently in third place in the Hockey East standings, Boston University can finish anywhere from 2-5 depending on the results from the weekend. The Terriers finish with a home-and-home with Northeastern. Similarly, fourth place Merrimack can finish anywhere from second to fifth, and finishes up with two against ninth place Providence.

With 34 points, Maine can finish anywhere from 3-5 and wraps up with two games in Amherst. 

Vermont (20 points), Massachusetts (19) and Providence (17) will be battling it out for the Tournament's final two playoff spots. Vermont hosts UMass Lowell for two games, while UMass hosts Maine and Providence faces Merrimack. 

The only teams that know their Hockey East Tournament fates are Northeastern and UMass Lowell. No matter the result from this coming weekend, the Huskies can't improve on their 6th place finish and will travel to the Tournament's 3 seed's arena in two weeks. With just 9 points, UMass Lowell can't slip into the eighth and final playoff spot. As a result, the River Hawks season ends this weekend up in Burlington.

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