UPDATED NHL PLAYOFF PICTURE

Media by ASSOCIATED PRESS

Only a few weeks remain in the 2021-22 NHL regular season, which means the playoff push has really started to ramp up. Eight teams in each conference will be making the playoff field this year, and those 16 teams will be competing for the right to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Most teams still have between 15-18 games left to play, and these playoff standings can still shift over the next few weeks. Some of the top playoff spots are looking pretty locked in, but there is plenty of drama left for the final few spots.

Here is a current look at the updated playoff picture in the National Hockey League.

Eastern Conference is Top-Heavy

Winning the Eastern Conference this season will be a major challenge as this conference is loaded with great teams. There are 5-6 teams that are still in the mix to earn the number one seed in the East, but it does feel like two teams are starting to pull away from the pack.

The Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes enter Thursday with 96 points on the year, and that has them in a tie for the top spot in the conference. Both teams still have plenty to prove in the playoffs, but a great seed should give them an advantage.

The New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Pittsburgh Penguins all have at least 90 points as well, and they will be in the mix for the top seed. The Toronto Maple Leafs are right behind that group as well, and they have plenty of time to catch up.

There is little drama at the bottom of the Eastern Conference as the 7-8 seeds appear to be locked up by two perennial playoff contenders. The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals will be in the postseason, but they can work on their seed as the season moves along.

Wild, Wild Western Conference

The Western Conference has a clear top seed, but the rest of the playoff spots appear to be up for grabs. The Colorado Avalanche will be the top seed in the Western Conference barring a collapse, but it’s impossible to predict what happens after that.

It is the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild that are the closest to Colorado in the standings, but they haven’t exactly built up a massive lead over the rest of the conference. There are still 10 teams with a realistic shot at getting the second seed in the West, which will make the final month terrific.

The Edmonton Oilers enter Thursday with 79 points on the year, and that has them safely in the playoffs as the number seven seed. Edmonton still has work to do if they want to reach the postseason, and some solid teams are chasing them.

Dallas currently holds the eighth spot in the West with 77 points, but Vancouver is in 11th place with 73 points on the year. Since there are so many teams still in the mix, you can expect to see the playoff standings changing several times over the course of the final month.

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Ryan Knuppel

Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web.

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Ryan Knuppel

Knup Solutions Ryan Knuppel

About Ryan Knuppel

Ryan has been one of the leading sports business & iGaming professionals for over 15 years. He started as a freelance writer and now operates one of the top sports content agencies around, Knup Solutions. He has literally written 10,000 plus sports and betting related articles across the web.

 

Sports Network:

sports20.com, usawager.com, knupsports.com, baseballspotlight.com, basketballarticles.com, betdecider.com, njsportsbookreview.com, dunkelindex.com, sportspub.com, oddschoice.com

 

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