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NHL Playoff Race 2021

The NHL season is coming to a close in the coming days, but plenty of playoff spots are still up for grabs. As of right now, here is how things are looking: 

(as of Mon Apr 25)

Clinched a playoff spot: 

Vegas Golden Knights

Colorado Avalanche

Minnesota Wild

Carolina Hurricanes

Eliminated from playoff contention: 

Columbus Blue Jackets

New Jersey Devils

Buffalo Sabres

Detroit Red Wings

Division Breakdown:

Things are looking tight in the top four spots in the MassMutual East right now. The Pens took over with a shutout win over Boston on Sunday, pushing them to the #1 spot. Washington is currently 1 point behind with the Isles on their heels 3 points away. A late push for either the Rangers and Flyers could change the whole scenery of the East. Both Phildaelphia and the Rangers would need a lot of help along with winning most of their games down the stretch. All games are critical for the six remaining teams, especially for seeding purposes. 

On the other hand, things are pretty chalk in the Central and North divisions. Toronto (65 pts) has an 8 point lead over the second place Oilers (58 pts). Winnipeg is knocking on the door at 57 points for the 3rd place spot. Montreal and Calgary will likely battle it out for the 4th place spot, as it seems Ottawa and Vancouver are too far.

Carolina clinched a playoff berth Monday night with their OT loss versus Dallas. Florida and Tampa are not too far from 1st place as both teams are respectively 2 or 3 points away. Nashville, Dallas and Chicago are all looking to clinch the 4th playoff spot in that division, with Columbus and Detroit already eliminated. 

Key Games

Here’s some key/must watch games for the “bubble” teams in the coming days: 

-Remember, these games won’t mean much for now, but in the long run a win is certainly critical-

Tuesday 

New York Islanders – Washington Capitals

Boston Bruins – Pittsburgh Penguins

Wednesday

Edmonton Oilers – Winnipeg Jets

Colorado Avalanche – Vegas Golden Knights

Thursday

New York Islanders – New York Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins – Washington Capitals

Projected Playoff Field: 

Honda West 

1 – x-Vegas Golden Knights

2 – x-Colorado Avalanche

3 – x-Minnesota Wild

4 – St. Louis Blues 

Discover Central

1 – x-Carolina Hurricanes

2 – Tampa Bay Lightning 

3 – Florida Panthers

4 – Dallas Stars

MassMutual East

1 – Pittsburgh Penguins 

2 – Washington Capitals 

3 – Boston Bruins 

4 – New York Islanders 

Scotia North 

1 – Toronto Maple Leafs 

2 – Winnipeg Jets 

3 – Edmonton Oilers 

4 – Calgary Flames 

x – clinched playoff berth

*check back for updates as the playoffs continue to get closer and closer*

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