NHL playoff standings: Predictions, matchups as East, West pictures develop

The 2017-18 NHL playoff image is taking form.

With a handful of weeks remaining within the common season schedule, the Japanese Convention wild-card race is down to 3 groups whereas the Western Convention is barely extra large open. Under is an up-to-date playoff projection based mostly on the present standings and AccuScore’s chance simulator, which takes under consideration remaining power of schedule and accidents, amongst different elements.

Keep in mind, ROW (laws and additional time wins, excluding shootouts) represents the primary tiebreaker if two groups are equal in factors and video games performed.

This is how the 2018 Stanley Cup playoff bracket would look if the season ended today.

Final up to date: March sixteen

PRESEASON RANKINGS: How badly SN’s specialists acquired it improper

NHL standings: Japanese Convention

Atlantic Division

1. Tampa Bay Lightning (one hundred factors, forty two ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (7 house)
House document: 25-7-2
Playoff chance: one hundred pc

Tampa’s true struggle is inside the division. If the Bolts maintain off the Bruins and win the Atlantic, they will possible seize the Presidents’ Trophy, too.

2. Boston Bruins (ninety six factors, forty one ROW)

Remaining video games: 14 (5 residence)
House document: 25-7-four
Playoff chance: one hundred pc

The Bruins are gaining on the Lightning. Pushed by David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, they seem to be a drive to be reckoned with within the closing stretch.

three. Toronto Maple Leafs (ninety one factors, 35 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (7 residence)
House report: 24-eight-2
Playoff chance: one hundred pc

The Leafs are locked in to the No. three seed within the Atlantic, headed for a possible first-spherical matchup with the Bruins.

Metropolitan Division

1. Washington Capitals (87 factors, 37 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (6 residence)
House report: 24-9-2
Playoff chance: ninety nine.2 %

Capitals vets Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom have been round lengthy sufficient to know: The common season is inconsequential.

2. Pittsburgh Penguins (87 factors, 39 ROW)

Remaining video games: 10 (6 house)
Residence report: 26-eight-1
Playoff chance: ninety nine.7 %

Even in second place, the Penguins maintain the within monitor to a division title by means of tiebreaker.

three. Philadelphia Flyers (eighty one factors, 33 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (6 house)
Residence report: 17-12-6
Playoff chance: ninety four.eight %

When everybody wasn’t paying consideration, the Flyers by some means become a group straightforward to root for. With Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier, they’ve loads of firepower to make some noise within the playoffs.

Wild playing cards

1. Columbus Blue Jackets (eighty one factors, 32 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (5 residence)
House report: 23-eleven-2
Playoff chance: seventy nine.four %

The NHL’s youngest group has gone by means of some rising pains this season, however they’re proper on the cusp and will get in as lengthy as issues do not disintegrate.

2. New Jersey Devils (eighty factors, 31 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (6 residence)
House report: 18-14-three

Playoff chance:  sixty two.three percen

The Devils are sagging on the fallacious time however nonetheless management their very own future. Perhaps New Jersey’s eight-spot in Vegas will present a jolt.

Within the hunt

1. Florida Panthers (seventy seven factors, 32 ROW)

Remaining video games: 14 (6 house)
House document: 22-10-three
Playoff chance: forty six %

The social gathering-crashing Panthers are sixteen-four-1 because the All-Star break and have proven no indicators of slowing down. 

NHL standings: Western Convention

Central Division

1. Nashville Predators (102 factors, forty one ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (5 house)
Residence report: 25-7-four
Playoff chance: one hundred pc

Wholesome and clicking, the Predators are in pursuit of their first division title, Presidents’ Trophy and Stanley Cup in franchise historical past. They could get all three.

2. Winnipeg Jets (ninety four factors, forty ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (7 residence)
House report: 25-7-2
Playoff chance: one hundred %

Of Canada’s seven NHL franchises, the Jets maintain the perfect shot at ending the nation’s 25-yr Stanley Cup drought this yr.

three. Minnesota Wild (eighty five factors, 36 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (5 house)
Residence report: 24-6-6
Playoff chance: ninety eight %

The Wild management their future. However in a means, it would not be the worst factor in the event that they drop into the primary wild-card spot and a primary-spherical assembly with the enlargement Golden Knights, quite than the excessive-powered Jets.

Pacific Division

1. Vegas Golden Knights (ninety five factors, forty two ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (7 residence)
House document: 24-eight-2
Playoff chance: one hundred pc

At this level, the Golden Knights are a lock for the division title of their inaugural season. Now the query is: How deep into the spring will they play?

2. San Jose Sharks (eighty five factors, 34 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (6 house)
Residence report: 22-eleven-three
Playoff chance: ninety one.1 %

Written off as too previous, the Sharks are nicely positioned to show their demise was untimely. Joe Thornton’s return from damage looms giant.

three. Los Angeles Kings (eighty four factors, 37 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (6 house)
Residence report: 19-thirteen-three
Playoff chance: sixty five.6 %

The Kings aren’t an ideal group, however they’re sturdy sufficient to return to the playoffs and a pose menace to advance past the primary spherical for the primary time since 2014.

Wild playing cards

1. Colorado Avalanche (eighty four factors, 37 ROW)

Remaining video games: 12 (7 residence)
House report: 24-eight-2
Playoff chance: forty nine.1 %

Nathan MacKinnon had been doing yeoman’s work as one of many Hart Trophy entrance-runners. If the Avs get in, his case to win is iron-clad.

2. Dallas Stars (eighty three factors, 34 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (four residence)
Residence document: 24-10-three
Playoff chance: seventy eight.eight %

Jim Nill’s offseason overhaul appears like it may obtain its desired end result within the type of a Stars playoff berth. If Dallas holds onto this spot, it’d even be favored over Vegas within the first spherical.

Within the hunt

1. Anaheim Geese (eighty two factors, 31 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (6 house)
House report: 20-10-5
Playoff chance: 34.1 %

Accidents ravaged Anaheim’s season (the Geese lead the league in man-video games misplaced), however a weak Pacific means it is from over for a preseason Cup favourite.

2. Calgary Flames (eighty factors, 33 ROW)

Remaining video games: eleven (6 residence)
House report: 15-sixteen-four
Playoff chance: 17.four %

The Flames are in want of some additional firepower behind the No. 1 line. These critical depth points and sub-par play on house ice means Calgary is trending towards lacking the playoffs, until it goes on a run with Mike Smith wholesome once more.

three. St. Louis Blues (seventy nine factors, 34 ROW)

Remaining video games: thirteen (7 residence)
Residence document: 20-14-zero
Playoff chance: 23.four %

A troublesome schedule and usually inconsistent play led to the Blues’ precipitous second-half plunge. They’ve nonetheless obtained a shot, statistically, however that does not appear so probably.