The 2021-2022 NHL season is about 3 weeks away from the end and some teams are in a good position and other teams are just playing their games out. The Eastern Conference is already made up with their teams, but the last few games will tell what spot some of those teams will get seeded in the playoffs. The Western Conference on the other hand will come down to the wire. The wild card spot comes down to at least six teams. Nashville(87 points) and Dallas(86 points) currently have the top two spots in the wild card with teams like Vegas(84 points), Vancouver(80 points), and Winnipeg(79 points). Even though the Kings are currently 3rd in their division, Vegas could pass them moving the Kings down to the wild card spot.
The team currently with the best record in the Eastern Conference and only two points away from the best record in the league is the Florida Panthers. They have gotten better and better over the last few years and this year looks like the year they will get it done. They are the best scoring team in the NHL. Their defense needs to step up in the playoffs this year if they want to make a serious run. They have decided to go all in by going out in spending a lot in free agency, but will this be the year they bring the cup to Sunrise?
Another season with Colorado at the tp of the standings, but will they get over the playoff hump this season? The team added some pieces to their defenseman and forwards and are looking to make it happen. Can MacKinnon’s injury not linger him in the playoffs? Can their goaltending be consist enough to bring the cup back to Denver?
Don’t think a lot of people thought Minnesota would have this many points at this point in the season, let alone this high up in the playoff seeding as well. They haven’t clinched yet, but they look like they will be in the playoffs in three weeks. Kaprizov is continuing his campaign and having an unreal year. Zuccarello is also having a great year and they have great depth all around. Also adding Marc-Andre Fleury to help out their goalie depth could help them make a deep run in the playoffs.
Going from a solid team year in and year out to falling off a cliff, which is what the Flyers have done the season. Many thought Carter Hart was going to help them out tremendously through his career, but is showing some struggles, but it also all his fault. The Flyers went on a fire sale this past off-season letting guys go, trading some young pieces and adding quality players, but it all backfired. The team is currently behind teams like Buffalo, Detroit, and even Ottawa in the standings. This was a surprise to many.
Talk about falling off a cliff! You make the Stanley Cup finals last season to having the 2nd worst record in the league and having a fire sale and trading away good players, but they did a really good job on the return of the players/picks they got in return. Even though they had a good trade deadline, they are still loser’s for how big of a drop off the team had from last season. Granted they didn’t have Price at all this season, its still a huge drop off. Also adding Martin St. Louis as their new head coach was a great move for the organization and their future.
Their days of being studs in the west are over and have been for about a year now. The band from the early 2010’s is slowly breaking up with Keith leaving in the off-season and now is it time for the team to move on from Toews and Kane? They aren’t in any position to make a deep run for the Stanley Cup for the next couple years so why hold onto them? Many people, including myself, thought they would make the playoffs this season based off some moves they made, but they had a bad year falling close to the bottom in standings in the west.
-Ryan Veal(@TheVealMobile on Twitter)
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