These Teams Will make the Playoffs and so will the Pens

As we pass USA Thanksgiving, and you look at today’s standings, we are reminded that on average, 75% of the NHL Teams listed, “in the Playoffs”, on this date, actually do make it into the NHL Playoffs.

Some teams have overachieved so far, while others have struggled to find wins in their first 20 games or so.

Let’s have a look at today’s NHL Standings (as of Nov 25.22) and discuss who I think will be the actual NHL Playoff Teams. 

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1 Boston

2 Toronto

3 Detroit

Metropolitan Division

1 New Jersey

2 NY Islanders

3 Carolina

Wild Card

1 NY Rangers

2 Tampa Bay

———-

Pittsburgh

Florida

Montreal

Philadelphia

Washington

Buffalo

Columbus

Ottawa

Let’s have a look at today’s NHL Standings (as of Nov 25.22) and discuss who I think will be the actual NHL Playoff Teams. 

Western Conference

Central Division

1 Dallas

2 Colorado

3 Winnipeg

Pacific Division

1 Las Vegas

2 Seattle

3 LA Kings

Wild Card

1 Calgary

2 St. Louis

———-

Minnesota

Edmonton

Nashville

Vancouver

San Jose

Arizona

Chicago

Anaheim

Ok, let’s start with the Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins

We know that the Boston Bruins will be there come April 2023.   The B’s have made the NHL Playoffs for the last 6 years.  They have re-jigged their 2022-23 line-up.  Now, I will agree with you, I did not see them setting the pace in the Eastern Conference. However, I do see them making noise in the Playoffs.

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs are an interesting discussion.  At full health they are a legit Cup Contender.  They have had a ton of injuries to their D of late.  That is not good.  I could see them tickling the Wild Card come April, or missing out completely, depending on how long their D are out.

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings have had a great start to the season.  The Wings have missed the Playoffs for the last 6 years and are in year 4 of Steve Yzerman’s rebuild.  I can’t see the Wings winning at this pace for the rest of the year.

Also, with Connor Bedard, a generational talent, dangling as the Projected #1 Overall Pick in this year’s Draft, I can’t see Yzerman not wanting to be a part of that lottery.  I see the Wings missing out of the Playoffs.   Sorry Wings fans, but you might get Bedard, which will jump start your next decade of making the playoffs.

 

Metropolitan Division

New Jersey Devils

Ok folks, I must be missing something here.  Full disclosure, I have yet to see the Devils play a game this season.  I have seen they are on a 13-game undefeated streak.  Like wow.  Ummm, you don’t win 13 in a row by fluke.  That said, I have looked at their line-up and noticed that both their goalies have been injured since training camp.

I also noticed they have a few stars and a lot of non-stars, shall we say.  So again, I’m not sure how they are doing this, which smoke n mirrors they are using, and I doubt this will continue.  The Devils have missed the Playoffs for the last 4 years.  I see them missing again in year 5 as well.  Sorry Devil Fans, however, you might get Bedard, which would be a great fir with all that young talent.

New York Islanders

The only reason NYI missed the playoffs last year, was because the NHL did not figure out its Covid Protocols until later in the season.  Unfortunately, by then, the Islanders were to far removed from the playoff picture and never could recover.  NYI is another team that re-jigged their 2022-23 line-up.  I do see them making noise in the Playoffs.

Carolina Hurricanes

These guys are legit Cup Contenders right now.  The Canes roster is, young, deep, motivated, and hungry.  They play a tight Defensive style game, keeping their opposition to outside and they can score. I see a long run this year in Carolina.

New York Rangers

Last year the Rangers never did collapse and may have overachieved by making it to the Final Four.  In the offseason, NYR lost much of their depth.  This season, they have struggled to find their overall game and consistency.   This year, I can see a regression in the rebuild, maybe a bubble Wild Card team.

Tampa Bay Lightning

All these guys do is win, win, win…  TBay have made the playoffs, the last 5 years and winning 2 Cups along the way.  They know the journey.  They know how to re-jig a line-up.  They know how to win.  Period.  They’ll be there again.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens have made the playoffs in 16 Consecutive years.  Here is another team that has constantly re-jigged its lineup in order to stay in the Cup Contender conversation.  This year is no different.  A 7-game losing streak is the only thing blocking the discussion of a Final Four Team.  They will get in, however, like the Leafs, are only a few key injuries away from golfing season.

Florida Panthers

Full disclosure, I have not seen the Panthers play this season.  It appears they are trying to find their way, with their re-jigged line-up.  I see them getting it together and making the Playoffs.

Montreal Canadiens

The Habs are still in their rebuild.  Stay in the hunt for Bedard Montreal and your rebuild will take less time.

Philadelphia Flyers

Torts has said they have players on their roster, who won’t be around come April.  Yikes.  Rebuild in Progress.

Washington Capitals

The Caps have had some major injuries, which caused a slow start.  Dare I say, they are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time in 8 years.  I’m not sold on this version of the Caps re-jig, but, Ovie is still great and super fun to watch.

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres got a quick jump on the NHL to start the season.  Now they have come back down to earth.  With Connor Bedard, a generational talent, dangling as the Projected #1 Overall Pick in this year’s Draft, I can’t see why the Sabres want to climb in the standings.

Columbus Blue Jackets

They are building something good in Columbus and are a Connor Bedard away from a huge pivot.

Ottawa Senators

Same comment as Buffalo, with Connor Bedard, a generational talent, dangling as the Projected #1 Overall Pick in this year’s Draft, I can’t see why the Sens want to climb in the standings.

Here is how I see the Final Playoff Teams for 2022-2023

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1 Boston

2 Tampa Bay

3 Toronto

Metropolitan Division

1 Carolina

2 NY Islanders

3 Pittsburgh

Wild Card

1 Florida

2 NY Rangers

———-

Out of the Playoffs, in no particular order

New Jersey

Detroit

Montreal

Philadelphia

Washington

Buffalo

Columbus

Ottawa

Ok, let’s continue with the Western Conference

Central Division

Dallas Stars

It looks like the stars are aligning in Big D…lol. They are playing really well of late and look healthy.  When leaders lead, you can go far.  They will.

Colorado Avalanche

The defending Champs will be there to defend.  They re-jigged, they know what it takes to win and who wouldn’t want to win Back-to-Back championships.  Motivated to win again.

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets rely heavily on Connor Hellebuyck to save them, night in, night out.  I see a new coach who likes a tight Defensive system; however, I don’t see it being applied on the ice.

They just got kicked by Minny 6-1, who trail them in the standings, The Jets have injuries beginning to pile up.  No depth and weak D. There is also rumbling that some Jets want out.

Now before you get all cranky in the comments section, may I ask you two questions.

Of all the seasons in which the Jets might not make the playoffs, with Connor Bedard, a generational talent, dangling as the Projected #1 Overall Pick in this year’s Draft, wouldn’t you rather have a shot at this immediate line-up re-tool?  Is this line-up really a Final Four team?

Also, FYI, the Jets were in the exact same position last year, 3rd Place in the Central and it didn’t end well. Sorry Jets fans, I don’t see it.  I’m just simply not convinced.

Pacific Division

Vegas Golden Knights

There is star power throughout this line-up. They have solid D, and it appears their rookie Goalies are playing lights out. I can see them making noise in the playoffs.

Seattle Kraken

Seattle has had a great start.  They have added some depth and the re build is on.  I just don’t see this continuing for them, as the games get tougher, deeper into the season. May I suggest, join the Bedard sweepstakes and help with the rebuild.

Los Angeles Kings

LA has some vets who have won, blended in with some young bucks who want to win now.  I like their makeup.  They will get in and gain experience in this year’s playoffs.

Calgary Flames

Every team coached by Darryl Sutter plays exactly like how he did.  Just come to the rink every night and giv’er 100%.  Play tough as nails D and take care of the finer details in a game.  They will be there in April.

St. Louis Blues

The Blues got off to a slow start. They have recently found their groove.  They are a tough defensive team, Deep on D, who also have quality G-men.  They know how to win; they will be there in April .

Minnesota Wild

The Wild are in win now or blow this thing up mode.  GM Guerin has already stated, earlier this year to win or changes will be made.  They are a plucky defensive group with some star power.  It will be a battle with Nashville until April.  I think Minny will fall short.

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are once again trying to find themselves early in the year.  You can’t miss the playoffs with the two best players in the game.  They won’t.

Nashville Predators

The Preds look re-jigged for a run.  They have a deep line-up with good goalies.  I think they get in, but if one thing goes wrong, Minny slides in for them.

Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks should just make a solid push for Bedard.  Press Re-Build.  Now.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks have pressed re-build now.  They are shopping all high-priced talent as we speak.

Arizona Coyotes

The Yotes have been in a constant rebuild mode since they moved from Winnipeg in 1996.

Chicago Black Hawks

The Hawks know exactly what they are doing.  Kane and Toews both are Unrestricted Free Agents at the end of this season.  They know first hand, how a generational talent can change the direction of a franchise in just one pick.  Kane and Toews were the anchors through the draft on the last Hawks rebuild.  Helooo Bedard.

Anaheim Ducks

They are in rebuild mode.  Who wouldn’t want Bedard.

Here is how I see the Final Playoff Teams for 2022-2023

Western Conference

Central Division

1 Colorado

2 Dallas

3 St. Louis

Pacific Division

1 Las Vegas

2 Calgary

3 LA Kings

Wild Card

1 Edmonton

2 Nashville

———-

Out of the Playoffs, in no particular order

Minnesota

Seattle

Winnipeg

Vancouver

San Jose

Arizona

Chicago

Anaheim

My View from the Cheap Seats

As mentioned, this is simply my view from where I sit, in the Cheap Seats…lol.

It is not to used for betting purposes and was solely created for fun and fan discussion.

Full Disclosure, I have not seen every NHL team play as yet.  I simply reviewed line-ups, schedules, and team history.  Please don’t be offended if I suggested your team will not make it to the playoffs.  That said, this is not the year for your team to be mid.  Trust Me.

Quote of the Day:

“This is the year you want your team to fall hard for Bedard”

Marc Penner – Author/Writer