We're at the point in the season where winners and losers become clear and the playoff teams and non-playoff teams become quite obvious. Before I start, I should note that these are expected results, if any one team goes on a great run or on a long losing streak results can be quite different.
Due to the nature of the eastern beast, I have decided not to include the South East division in the first part of the discussion, simply because they're special.
So for starters who's in:
Senators, Flyers, Canadiens, Devils, Penguins.
These teams have been playing well so far and now only need a 40% winning percentage (plus the free OT points) to make the playoffs
Bubble - Race
Bruins, Islanders, Sabres, Rangers. Two of these teams should make it in (the remaining Playoff team will come from the South East).
Why they'd make it:
Bruins: Bruins don't score many goals, so they're where they are because of goaltending and defense. (Chara, Wideman)
Sabres: Balanced team, nothing stands out
Why they wont:
Bruins: -8 since the begining of December. And they should be a little more careful (injuries)
Islanders: Struggled recently, not sure if they'll get going any time soon.
Sabres: Things are looking quite bad for the Sabres. January they only have received two wins.
Rangers: Once they can score I might be able to say a ittle more.
It's hard to pick any two of the above teams, just because they're all struggling and if they keep that up there will be room for a second South East team.
Sadly, there is only one team outside the South East who is out of the playoff picture already, for those who don't know: Maple Leafs