HC20.0 Posted March 22, 2015 Share Posted March 22, 2015 So, the regular season is winding down now, and the greatest playoff race I've ever seen is only just heating up. Teams are battling hard in BOTH conferences to try and lock up the last spot. This is by far the tightest a playoff race has been in years. The thing that's most interesting about it though is that, two heavy weight favourites at the start of the year, LA and Boston, have a very good chance of missing the playoffs. The Cup champs and the big bad B's. Chicago, the other favourite, is still doing good, but have lost their leading scorer and have dropped in the standings. San Jose and Colorado, two lethal teams last year, are both very likely to miss the post season this season. Provided Boston and LA do actually miss the playoffs, are there actually leading contenders this year for the Stanley Cup? In previous years, you always knew who'd advance, and who'd get bumped in the first round. There was the odd upset, but this year, I think every team has a legitimate shot at the Stanley cup. In the East: Montreal: Price is working wonders for them, but they are offensively challenged. Play strong D, and the Canadiens can easily be bumped. Price is the biggest challenge by far. Rangers: The have possibly the best goaltending duo in the league, as well as a filthy defense. However, offensively, aside from Nash, they struggle. Shut down Nash and the top line, and it becomes a goaltending dual. Tampa Bay: Amazing offense, backed by average goaltending. Bishop was sensational last year, but has been average-above average this season. Islanders: Very good D core, mediocre goaltending and offense. Tavares is carrying his team. Pittsburgh: Playing very good defensively, but struggling offensively. Also, Fleury and the playoffs recently haven't gotten along. Washington: Has received very good goaltending this season, but are very much a one line team, like the 07 Ottawa Senators. Detroit: Has been pretty decent offensively, but has struggled in both defending and goaltending. Boston: Their offense has vanished. Tuuka Rask and Svedburg are carrying the team. Ottawa: Out of nowhere, some guy by the name of Hammond has pulled off the biggest sports miracle since the 2011 Cardinals and pulled Ottawa into a tie for last place in the east. The West: Anaheim: Great team all around, but there is a big question mark in goal with Anderson between the pipes. St. Louis: Possibly the most well rounded team of the lot. Have had good offense, and good defense. Elliott has been good too. Nashville: Amazing D, amazing goaltending, but average offense. Chicago: All around great team with amazing goaltending, but lost Kane to injury, which is a huge blow to an average offensive team. Minnesota: Wasn't even in a playoff spot until Devan Dubnyk appeared out of nowhere and single handedly turned their ship around. Vancouver: Over achieved at the beginning of the year, but are still playing well. Defense is by the far the biggest concern, but Eddie Lack emerged out of nowhere to right the ship. Winnipeg: Has had above average goaltending coupled with great D, especially from big Buff. Very streaky team though, and like Vancouver, has average offense. Calgary: Maybe the most surprising team of them all. They've been lead by good offense, and a Norris caliber D before he was injured. Defense otherwise and goaltending are mediocre though. LA: Very, very good Defensively, but have fallen hard this season, and have heavily struggled heavily offensively. All in all, I wouldn't say there aren't any clear favourites. There isn't a big point gap between first and 8th in either conference. I think this year could be the most exciting playoffs the NHL's had in years. It'll be a true battle to the end. Either way, I'm pretty pumped for the end of this season. Anything can happen, and it is one hell of a playoff race down the stretch! Also fun fact, the only reason why the Queens are in 9th is because of 14 loser points. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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