Next weekend is the league’s quarterfinals to be followed by the Hockey East tournament at TD Garden. It certainly appears up for grabs.
“When you look at the four teams that might get to the Garden, some years you have a prohibitive favorite and people want to see if the team can lead the league from wire to wire and what does that mean for their chances in the national tournament and so forth,’’ said Bertagna.
“I think this year, whatever four teams get there, all their fans will think they have a good chance to win. There is no favorite, obviously, that is the other thing that comes out of this type of a mishmash. And I think that’s great. It creates greater interest.’’
Weekend outlook for Hockey East:
Friday’s games: Providence at UMass-Lowell, 7 p.m.; BC at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.; BU at Northeastern, 7:30 p.m.; Maine at UNH, 7:30 p.m.; UMass at Merrimack, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday’s games: Maine at UNH, 4 p.m.; Merrimack at UMass, 7 p.m.; Northeastern at BU, 7 p.m.; UMass-Lowell at Providence, 7 p.m.; BC at Vermont, 7:05 p.m.
What’s at stake: With as many as 4 points on the table in the final weekend of the regular season, there are four teams still alive for the top seed in the conference tournament. UMass-Lowell, which can finish no lower than fourth, looks to clinch against Providence as the Friars attempt to sew up home ice in the first round. UNH and BC might seem to have an easier path, but the Wildcats face a capable Maine team trying to hold on to the eighth and final playoff spot and the Eagles have two on the road against another desperate squad in Vermont. The team chasing the No. 8 spot, UMass, looks to make its move against ice-cold Merrimack (0-4-1 skid). BU can slide into the top four by taking care of also-ran Northeastern.
Hockey East standings
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.