The NHL playoff field is set heading into the final few days of the regular season as teams battle for seeding before the postseason officially begins on May 2nd. Exactly half of the teams in the league, 16 of the 32 total, make the postseason, with eight from each conference.
The Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers clinched the top seeds of their respective conferences, and they are the top two favorites to win this year’s Stanley Cup according to the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Who has clinched
Florida Panthers: The Panthers have overshadowed their in-state rival for much of the season, despite the fact that the Lightning are defending back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. They’ve already clinched the most wins in franchise history and have also earned more points than ever before. Jonathan Huberdeau is leading the team’s offense with 24 goals and 73 assists. Their defense is good but they’re built on offense, scoring a league-high 4.12 goals per game.
Colorado Avalanche: The Avs were the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a spot in the playoffs this season. They lead the NHL with 106 points and have made the playoffs for the fifth-consecutive season. Mikko Rantanen is at the front of the class with 84 points on 35 goals and 49 assists, but it’s not a one-man show. Nazem Kadri has 83 points on 26 goals and 57 assists while two other players are in the 70s for season-long points.
Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes clinched a playoff berth for the fourth straight season, and have secured the second 100-point campaign in franchise history. Sebastian Aho leads the team with 71 points on 33 goals and 38 assists. Teuvo Teravainen leads the team with 39 assists. Frederik Andersen has led the way between the pipes with a 2.07 GAA and 33 wins in 48 games.
New York Rangers: The Rangers clinched their second playoff berth in three seasons and secured their first 100-point season since finished 2016-17 with 102 points. Left winger Artemi Panarin leads the team with 88 points on 21 goals and 67 assists. LW Chris Kreider leads the team with 49 goals. Goalie Igor Shesterkinis 34-10-4 with a 20.7 GAA.
Toronto Maple Leafs: The Leafs clinched their sixth straight playoff berth and their third 100-point season in five years. With ten games remaining, they only need three wins to secure the most points in franchise history. Center Auston Matthews leads the team with 99 points on 58 goals and 41 assists. Center Mitchell Marner leads the team with 59 assists. Goalie Jack Campbell has led the team between the pipes with a 27-9-5 record and a 2.72 GAA.
St. Louis Blues: The Blues have clinched their fourth playoff birth in a row. They won the Stanley Cup in 2019 and have been booted from the playoffs in the first round in both seasons since. Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team with 76 points including 33 goals. Center Robert Thomas is right behind him with 73 points and a team-high 55 assists. Goalie Ville Husso has played in 37 games and has a 26-6-5 record with a 2.44 GAA.
Calgary Flames: The Flames are back in the playoffs after missing out last season. They haven’t advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 2015 so they are hopeful for a deep playoff run. Calgary last won the Stanley Cup in 1989. The Flames are led by the left wing tandem of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. Gaudreau has 105 points with 36 goals and 69 assists. Tkachuk is right behind him with 96 points and 39 goals and 57 assists. Goalie Jacob Markstrom has a 35-15-8 record with a 2.22 GAA.
Minnesota Wild: The Wild have made clinched a playoff berth for the third season in a row. They haven’t been able to make it out of the first round since 2015. Minnesota has never appeared in a Stanley Cup Finals. Left wing Kirill Kaprizov has been outstanding this season and a huge problem for opposing teams. He leads the Wild with 93 points and his teammate with the second-most points has 74. Kaprizov has 43 goals and 50 assists. Cam Talbot is a 29-12-4 manning the net for Minnesota with a 2.84 GAA.
Tampa Bay Lightning: The Lightning have continued their strong playoff record clinching their fifth consecutive playoff berth. Tampa Bay has won the Stanley Cup in each of the last two seasons. Center Steven Stamkos has 84 points in 74 games with 33 goals and 51 assists. Defenseman Victor Hedman leads the team with 53 assists and has 72 total points. Goalie Andrei Vasilevsky has a 35-17-5 record with a 2.46 GAA.
Boston Bruins: The Bruins have made the playoffs in the last five seasons and have qualified for the 2022 NHL postseason. After losing to the Blues in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2019, Boston has been booted from the playoffs in the second round in each of the last two years. The Bruins are led by some familiar faces in left wing Brad Marchand and right wing David Pastrnak. Marchand has 31 goals and 42 assists while Pastrnak has 38 goals and 33 assists. Goalies Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have almost evenly split their playing time this season. Ullmark is 23-10-2 with a 2.57 GAA while Swayman is 21-12-3 with a 2.34 GAA.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins have clinched a 2022 playoff berth moving their consecutive playoff appearance streak to 16 years in a row. Pittsburgh hasn’t made it past the second round since 2017 when they last won the Stanley Cup. Center Sidney Crosby and left wing Jake Guentzel have been the standout players for the Penguins. Crosby has 29 goals and 51 assists while Guentzel has 37 goals and 41 assists. Goalie Tristan Jarry is 34-18-6 with a 2.42 GAA.
Washington Capitals: The Capitals have clinched a playoff spot and have made the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons. They last won the Stanley Cup in 2018 and haven’t made it out of the first round since. Left wing Alex Ovechkin continues being their best player with 47 goals and 39 assists. Goalies Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek have split time in the net this season. Samsonov has a 22-10-4 record with a 3.00 GAA and Vanecek has a 19-11-5 record with a 2.67 GAA.
Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers have the best duo in the NHL with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and they’ll look to make a deeper run into the playoffs. Edmonton hasn’t gotten past the first round of the postseason since the 2016-17 season. McDavid is the league’s leading point scorer and while the goaltending has gotten a whole lot better than earlier in the season, the issues for Edmonton come on the defensive end.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings are led by their skill on defense as they’ll enter the playoffs inside the top 10 in goals allowed per game during the regular season. Los Angeles is in the postseason for the first time since the 2017-18 season, and they will need an increase in production offensively in order to make a run. Anze Kopitar was the team’s leader in points this season, though Adrian Kempe scored the most goals.
Nashville Predators: The Predators clinched a playoff spot late in the regular season, but one of their top players suffered a difficult injury the night they clinched. Goaltender Juuse Saros went down with a lower body injury, and head coach John Hynes said the franchise is hopeful he will be available for the playoffs. Nashville ranks slightly above average compared to the rest of the league in goals per game, and Roman Josi was the team’s point leader this season. The Predators will look for their first series win since the 2017-18 season.
Dallas Stars: Dallas clinched a spot in the postseason in a game in which they blew a 3-0 lead and lost in overtime, but they’re here and that’s all that matters. The Stars failed to reach the playoffs last season, coming off a year in which they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Dallas is around the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league when it comes to goals allowed per game, but they have a below-average offense in goals per game. Joe Pavelski was the team’s leading point scorer, and Jason Robertson led the Stars in goals.