With only one week left in the NHL’s regular season teams are pushing for a playoff spot and some teams are just wanting their season to be over already. I thought I would let you know who is in the playoffs and who is out of the playoffs this season.
In the East 6 NHL teams have already clinched their playoff spots. The New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators are all going to the post season however the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals have yet to secure their playoff spots. The Panthers lead the Southeast divison with 91 points but the Washington Capitals aren’t far behind them with 88 points. You can’t count the Buffalo Sabres out yet they are only two points back of 8th place Washington. The Winnipeg Jets were eliminated last night with an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning will also be watching the playoffs alongside of the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens.
In the West 5 NHL teams have clinched their playoff berth. The Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators and Chicago Blackhawks. The Los Angeles Kings are tied with the Phoenix Coyotes with 91 points. The San Jose Sharks currently occupy 8th place with 90 points but the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche are still very much in playoff contention. Last night the Calgary Flames were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks. Joining the Flames on the sidelines are the Anaheim Ducks, the Minnesota Wild, the Edmonton Oilers and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Canadian teams were not able to capitalize this season as only two of them will be participating in the playoffs. The Vancouver Canucks currently lead the Western Conference with 107 points but you have to remember they fell short last year when they lost in game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins. In the East the Ottawa Senators are going into the post season in 7th place with 92 points. The Senators are likely to be matched up against the big bad Boston Bruins who are looking for a repeat of last year. Both Canadian teams will have to be on their “A” game when it comes to playoff hockey if they want to be successful. Although it’s likely an American team will win the Cup it would be nice to bring the Cup home to Canada this year. No matter who wins one thing is for sure, playoff hockey is the best hockey of the season so hold onto your hat and get ready to cheer for your favorite team because we all know that in the playoffs anything can happen!!