Playoff Prediction 2016-2017

Metropolitan Division

Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington Capitals

New York Rangers

Atlantic Division

Florida Panthers

Tampa Bay Lightning

Montreal Canadiens

East Wild Card

New York Islanders

Carolina Hurricanes

Central Division

Dallas Stars

Chicago Blackhawks

St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division

San Jose Sharks

Anaheim Ducks

Los Angeles Kings

West Wild Card

Nashville Predators

Minnesota Wild

I think Pittsburgh is going to take the top spot in the Metro with Sullivan as the head coach. Washington is still going to be strong in the regular season. The New York Rangers did well enough in the offseason to maintain a top 3 spot. I see the two teams residing in Florida will again be the two top teams in the Atlantic and Montreal reclaiming a playoff birth. When it comes to the wild card, I think a lot of teams can compete for those two spots. Detroit, Philadelphia, and New Jersey are some of the other clubs that could snatch a position. I just think the Islanders made the right moves to keep their first wild card spot, and I believe this is finally the year the Hurricanes make the playoffs.

Moving West, I think Dallas claims the top spot for the second straight season. I think St. Louis, while taking a step back, will still be a top 3 team. San Jose has finally arrived, and with another couple solid moves in the summer, such as acquiring Mikkel Boedker, I believe they’ll claim that first spot in the Pacific. Anaheim drops down to number 2, and LA drops to number 3. In the Wild Card, I debated whether putting St. Louis in the first spot and elevating Nashville to number 3 in the Central, but decided the Predators would stay put. As the sneakiest team in the NHL, I see Minnesota sliding into that same second wild card position. I could see a team like Calgary slip in, however. Maybe Winnipeg, but I don’t think that’ll happen.

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