It’s the midseason of the NHL, the post All Star week and there are several teams who are on their way to the playoffs a few teams who aren’t completely out and of course there are several teams who are on their way to the cleaners.
Let’s start with the teams who are going to the cleaners and have absolutely no chance of making the playoffs this season unless of course the teams in front of them going on lengthy losing streaks and these following teams win 4+ weeks in a row. Which is possible but very unlikely.
Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres – Stick a fork in ’em all and dig deep
Toronto Maple Leafs – Although having 47 points they lost 6 games in a row recently and have shot themselves in the foot. They aren’t a team built on dealing with pressure, and Phil Kessel is too hot and cold. Stick a form in ’em
Ottawa Senators – Being 10 points of a wild card position isn’t that far of a stretch but when you’re competing with teams like the Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. It’s very unlikely the Senators will make the playoffs sitting with 47 points and the Bruins have the last wild card position with 57.
As for their division, forget it. They are 14 points away from grabbing the 3rd and final spot. And don’t count on the Montreal Canadiens, Detroit Red Wings or Tampa Bay Lightning going on lengthy losing streaks anytime soon. It’s a shame as a hockey fan because Ottawa has what it takes to make a deep playoff run if they could get a bit tougher. Stick a fork in ’em
Florida Panthers – The Panthers actually have a legitimate chance of squeezing possibly the Rangers, Capitals or Bruins out of the playoff run. Florida currently sits 7 points out of the final Wild Card position and there is no way they will grab the 3rd and final division spot. Tampa Bay, Detroit and Montreal have pretty much sealed the division up, it will just come down to where they place before the playoffs. Although one of those teams could fall to a wild card position but the Panthers are still to far behind to catch them.
Their only hope is grabbing a wild card position.
The Panthers have been a very underrated team this season and with Roberto Luongo in net they do have a legitimate chance at squeezing into the playoffs but they will have to have a very strong 2nd half. It’s not going to be a walk in the park having to compete with Boston, Washington or the New York Rangers but anything could happen.
Who knows? Tuukka Rask could have a 4-6 week injury arise or Martin St. Louis could finally be knocked on his ass for only being 5′ 6″
As it is every season the Western Conference is so tight that every team has a chance at making the playoffs, even Colorado who started the season horrendous and now currently have 50 points – Just 3 points out of a wild card position. Even the Dallas Stars have a shot who sit with 49 and just 4 points out of the wild card position. Therefore I am going to take a look at two teams that are done.
Arizona Coyotes – What a disappointing season and although it’s not all Mike Smith’s fault, it’s all Mike Smith’s fault. He’s the backbone of this team but with how he has been playing you have to wonder what’s going on in his personal life. Coyotes have 37 points that’s 16 points out of the final wild card position. Stick a fork in ’em
Edmonton Oilers – I had high hopes for them this season but then I remembered, it’s the Oilers. Sitting with 33 points do I even have to do the math on how FAR out they are? At least they aren’t the worst team in the league, yet. Buffalo sits with 31 points. Stick a fork in ’em
Who Will Win the Stanley Cup?
I picked two teams before the season started and although this sport is a very long season with a lot of injuries, more than the other big sports, it’s VERY HARD to predict a Stanley Cup Winner before the season started. However, I chose the New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche. The Islanders lead their division and have shown no signs of slowing down and Colorado isn’t that far out. They just need to get hot at the right time and they are in the perfect spot in the standings and have the team that can get hot at that perfect time. It will happen.
But as we see every NHL season, injuries play a BIG role in teams making and having deep playoff runs. A lot can change in the 2nd half of this NHL season so we shall await and see.
Anyways, that’s my 2 pucking cents if you didn’t like what I had to say…well at least it’s always an exciting time of the year!
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