The playoff race in the EC is all but over. The Florida Panthers could still track down the Boston Bruins for the last wild card spot so there is that.
But in the WC, things are much more interesting.
As of this writing, 6 teams are still in the running for the final 4 spots in the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at their chances.
Vancouver would appear to be in the catbird seat with 65 points in 55GP and they have games in hand over San Jose (3), Winnipeg (2) and Calgary (1). They also hold the tie breaker of regulation wins (29) over Calgary (28), San Jose (27), Minnesota (26), Winnipeg (24), Los Angeles (24) and Dallas (24).
But…the Canucks are down two of their top 4 defensemen in Edler and Bieksa and may find it difficult to win without them.
Those Stazis discount “momentum” but, believe me, confidence plays a huge part in the performance of sports teams and the Minnesota Wild are on a huge roll.
Buoyed by the goaltending of Devan Dubnyk (who could have seen that coming) the Wild are 8-0-2 in their last 10 games and may overtake the Winnipeg Jets in the Central Division.
Winnipeg has a 5 point lead but Minnesota has 3 games in hand and could close that gap pretty quickly.
The 4 Pacific teams vying for a post season berth, San Jose, Vancouver, Calgary and Los Angeles are within 4 points of each other and all are playing around .500 hockey in their last 10 GP.
If forced to make a wager right now, I would go with this for the top 8 teams in the WC:
Wow. The 1st round of the playoffs should be epic.