Playoff chances: East all but settled, West remains wild

Playoff chances: East all but settled, West remains wild

With the National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend now a thing of the past, all eyes turn towards the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Regular season play is set to resume Tuesday, and as many as 26 of the league’s 30 teams have a greater than zero percent chance of qualifying for the postseason, according to Sports Club Stats.

This information is gathered by collecting past results, and by generating random scores for each remaining game weighted by the scheduled opponents’ records and home-ice advantage – meaning the better team is more likely to be credited with the win.

Here’s a look at the playoff chances for each of those 26 clubs, divided by conference.

(Four teams have basically no shot at a playoff spot, meaning the Carolina HurricanesArizona CoyotesBuffalo Sabres and Edmonton Oilers will set their sights on the draft and Connor McDavid / Jack Eichel sweepstakes.)

Eastern Conference

TEAM PLAYOFF CHANCES
NY Islanders 99.6
Tampa Bay 99.5
NY Rangers 99.4
Detroit 98.9
Montreal 98.8
Pittsburgh 98.6
Washington 94.4
Boston 70.8
Ottawa 16.7
Florida 16.2
Toronto 4.5
Philadelphia 1.7
Columbus 0.4
New Jersey 0.4

As many as seven teams appear to be virtual locks for the playoffs, with seeding remaining the only thing to be settled.

The Boston Bruins have a seven-point advantage over the Florida Panthers for the second wild-card spot, with the latter holding four games in hand. If the Panthers can play that hand to their advantage, it could create some drama heading down the stretch.

As it stands, however, the current top eight teams in the East appear to be tracking towards postseason appearances.

Western Conference

TEAM PLAYOFF CHANCES
Nashville 100
St. Louis 99.8
Anaheim 99.8
Chicago 99.8
Winnipeg 92.4
Vancouver 92.4
Calgary 72.2
San Jose 67.6
Los Angeles 46.8
Dallas 14.1
Colorado 8.7
Minnesota 6.4

Out West, the top four teams have paved their way to the playoffs with strong starts, and a trio of Canadian teams have surprised many by sticking in the top eight for so long.

The Winnipeg Jets, who hold an eight-point advantage in the wild-card race, probably have the strongest case to remain in the playoff picture, while the Vancouver Canucks sit only three points up on the Los Angeles Kings (albeit with two games in hand).

The reigning Cup champions are traditionally late bloomers, meaning the Canucks, Flames and San Jose Sharks are officially on watch.

The much-hyped Dallas Stars have the next best shot at advancing, but have likely been done in by a disappointing first half of the season.

from the rolphyfiles

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Posted on January 26, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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