Can Lowell Pass Providence, Merrimack for Hockey East's final home ice spot?

In the coming weeks, the Hockey East playoff picture and different scenarios will probably change multiple times. Once the remaining games dwindle, we'll take a look at different scenarios and magic numbers. For now, here's a look at each team's current standing and some quick thoughts.

In the coming weeks, the Hockey East playoff picture and different scenarios will probably change multiple times. Once the remaining games dwindle, we'll take a look at different scenarios and magic numbers. For now, here's a look at each team's current standing and some quick thoughts.

Boston College: The Eagles have struggled lately, but still stand atop the league standings thanks to a near perfect first half. Five of their remaining nine games are against UVM and Maine. At 3rd in the current Pairwise Rankings, the Eagles will most certainly make the NCAA Tournament.

New Hampshire: The Wildcats are four points behind the Eagles for first place, but have two games in hand. At 4th in the current Pairwise, UNH seems to be good to go as far as the national tournament goes.

Boston University: Jack Parker's club stumbled twice last weekend, but still are in good shape to grab home ice and advance to the Hockey East Semifinals. The Terriers are a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament at the moment. BU certainly cannot falter down the stretch as they stand at 13th in the current Pairwise Rankings.

Providence: Tied for 3rd with BU after a big road win at UNH, the Friars have a chance to help themselves this weekend. PC and BU meet for a home-and-home series this weekend. Their NCAA Tournament chances are much more precarious. PC went 0-4-1 against non-conference foes in the top 15 of the Pairwise.

Merrimack: The Warriors picked up five out of a possible six points against Maine during the last three games to keep in 5th place. The Warriors have yet to prove they can beat top opponents. With 10 of their remaining 13 games against teams in the top six of the standings, Merrimack should slide down in the standings. The Warriors will need to win the Hockey East Tournament to make the national tournament.

UMass-Lowell: The River Hawks have won nine in a row, following a tough first half. Their recent hot streak has also vaulted them up to 7th in the Pairwise. With their remaining schedule and peaking at the right time, UML is in good shape to gain the last home ice spot.

UMass-Amherst: The Minutemen are one point ahead of Northeastern and Vermont, the two teams tied for 8th and the final playoff spot. UMass also has a game in hand on both of those clubs. UMass has not played consistently enough, but if they can take advantage of four games against UVM and Maine, that will help.

Northeastern: The Huskies are tied with UVM for the final playoff spot, but have a much easier schedule to finish the year. The Huskies have two games each with UVM and Maine.

Vermont: The Catamounts are tied with NU right now, but have a brutal finish to the season. UVM must play BC, UNH and BU in seven of their remaining 12 games. To say the least, two home contests against UMass this weekend are crucial.

Maine: The Black Bears are four points in back of NU and UVM. With two games at BC looming this weekend, much needed points will not be easy to come by. Maine also must face BU for two and then finishes the season with two games at UNH.

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