How the NHL playoffs are shaping up after the weekend?

How the NHL playoffs are shaping up after the weekend?

The weekend saw some surprise results, with the Bruins expected to continue their 6-game win streak. However, they lost out in a shock result to the bottom of the table Sabres, then in the first game of the head-to-head series against Pittsburgh. But, it does seem like the Bruins will qualify in the East Division, with things likely to finish as they are now in terms of top four qualifying teams.

Elsewhere, the battles are much tighter, things are opening up on the North and there’s much to play for in the West. Nashville seems to be gaining hold of things in the Central Division, but it’s far from over. With an average of around 10 games to play, we’ll take a look at the teams that could make it and those that will likely miss out.

Our analysis and predictions are based on current performance, as well as what is predicted in the NHL betting odds across all the top online sportsbook providers. While it’s difficult to be sure with the league being as unpredictable as it is, there are certain signs to indicate that some teams have what it takes to reach the 2021 postseason.

North Division

To be clear, it’s very much a 3-horse race, with the Canadiens, Flames, and Canucks battling it out for qualification. Montreal has an 8 point lead on the Canucks, but having played 5 games more, the gap could quickly be closed.

Calgary is now just 4 points adrift from Montreal and is currently sitting on a 2-game win streak. It’s really all to play for with so few games to go. The Canadiens will remain firm favorites in the bookie's eyes, as they have been playing better throughout the season and trump the other two teams in Elo, SRS, and have a solid team.

Rewind a few weeks and it seemed that the Habs were locked in for postseason games, but things have adjusted a lot since then. We feel their fate is still in their hands. It feels like a stretch for the Flames to grab the playoff spot, but the Canucks have shown already this season that they can play. But, what a turnaround that would be for Vancouver—going from not finishing the season to making the playoffs in a matter of weeks.

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West Division

The 2019 Stanley Cup winners St Louis Blues shouldn’t be battling for an NHL Playoff place at this stage of the season, but the fact is their roster just hasn’t performed this year. A lack of consistency has let them down and a very tough run of games to close out the regular season puts them behind the Coyotes as the team to make it.

The Coyotes have played 3 more games than the Blues and lead them by just 1 point. This will give the Blues a much-needed boost of confidence. With both teams going into their next fixture carrying the momentum of a win from their last game, it will be very interesting to see how things pan out.

Central Division

We’ve left the best till last, as the playoff chase between the Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators is by far and away from the most interesting. It feels like Chicago will miss out this season, but there’s always a chance—we’ll come back to this very soon.

Last season's Stanley Cup finalists the Dallas Stars started the year cold after finishing in disappointing style last year, but have had a string of runs throughout the season. The Preds have played 2 more games than the Stars and have 2 more points, so the gap can easily be closed. Both teams are performing well at the moment, though the Stars certainly edge out Nashville right now.

Both teams have great goaltenders on their roster and this will be key in the run-in, as well as for whoever makes it to the playoffs. We would have to say that the Stars are the most likely to progress, but things will become clearer in the next week of games.

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So, which teams do you think will reach the Stanley Cup final?

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

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