John Cordes/Icon SMI)
When is an NHL player no longer an NHL prospect? For the NHL, it is after the player has appeared in 25 games in one NHL season. At Hockey's Future, though, we stretch that number to 65 cumulative games since very few players are truly NHL material after 25 games in a single season.
Rich Kane/Icon SMI)
Below are the regular season grades for all five teams in the Atlantic Division. Team grades were based on whether or not a team met the expectations that were generally expected of them in training camp, meaning a team that is rebuilding but managed to sneak into the playoffs would probably get a higher grade than an established cup-contender who underachieved for much of the season.
Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
For the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the playoffs appear to have unofficially started yesterday afternoon when the Flyers beat the Penguins 6-4 in a physical, back-and-forth matchup.
As the regular season winds down, the Penguins and Flyers remain ranked fourth and fifth respectively in the Eastern Conference, and consequently are all but guaranteed to face each other in the first round of the playoffs. This fact not lost on either team yesterday as both teams finished every check and seemed to be pushing and shoving after each whistle.