The NHL playoff are just around the corner. But there is still suspense to find out who will squeeze into the the playoffs and who is going to end up going on an early golfing trip?
1. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are in a tight race with with Montreal and Carolina. The Blue Jackets are going all in this year by adding Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel and Adam Mcquaid to their roster. It would be surprising and a huge disappointment if they missed the playoffs this year. They recently beat Montreal which is currently the difference of them being in a spot and Montreal being on the outside. This spot could go to Carolina or Columbus depending who plays better due to how close they are.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina has fallen from the top 3 in their division to being on the brink of missing the playoffs. Luckily for Carolina, Montreal has a very nasty schedule to end the season, so as long as they play well, they should make it. However, Carolina should still focus on trying to get the first wildcard spot to avoid Tampa Bay in the first round.
3. Montreal Canadiens
The Montreal Canadiens is another team that has done better than everyone thought this year and are credited for that, but they are going to fall just short of the playoffs. With the teams they’ll have to contend with for a playoff spot and the schedule Montreal has, they’re the most likely to be the odd man out. Montreal’s only real hope is their savior Carey Price. If he can play lights out down the stretch, then you might see Montreal squeeze in and steal that last wild card spot.
1. Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars playoffs are theirs for the taking, they are in the driver seat and control their own destiny. It would be almost impossible for Dallas not make it, they’re just trying to get the first wild card spot, so they can hopefully play the Nashville Predators. Nashville is the most preferable matchup for Dallas out of Calgary, Winnipeg, and Nashville. Although the Predators are battling the Jets for first in the division, so it could be either of these teams. The hockey world is hoping that it’ll be Nashville vs Dallas because it would likely be a vigorous 7 game series, considering the bad blood and how close these team have been this year with Dallas posting a 2-1-2 record against the Predators.
2. Colorado Avalanche
Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog are leading the way for Colorado. Now that Minnesota is out, the Avalanche just have to battle Phoenix for this spot. The only thing Colorado has to worry about are injuries. Currently it’s a battle to the end, however Colorado has the best chance to take 2nd this season. Currently they have a 4-point lead over Phoenix with only two games left, so they only need to win a single game. At this point the Avalanche are in control of their own destiny.
3. Phoenix Coyotes
Phoenix is likely to fall just short and, really, it’s not them. Colorado and Dallas have been too good. Compared to those teams, Phoenix has been a little lackluster. They shouldn’t even be in this spot with the weak roster they have, but they have managed to play well as a team regardless. Losing that game to Colorado has put them on the outside looking in. Depending on how Colorado does, Phoenix will have to win all of their remaining games. They have a slim chance, but if your a Coyotes fan don’t be surprised if they miss the playoffs again for the 7th year in a row.
The regular season ends in two days. These will be the most stressful days of the season if you are a fan of any of these teams, struggling just to make it over the line.
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