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Taking a look at the 2022-23 NHL playoff picture at the All-Star break

We look at how the playoff picture is shaping up at the All-Star break.

Teammates congratulate David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins after he scored a third period goal against the Florida Panthers at the FLA Live Arena on January 28, 2023 in Sunrise, Florida. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

The NHL is at the All-Star break and outside of one team, the rest of the field is very much up in the air. The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs figure to be one of the more competitive fields we’ve seen in recent memory, particularly with five of the top six teams in the NHL at the break coming from the Eastern Conference. The All-Star Game is set for Saturday, Feb. 4 with play resuming next Monday. Here we’ll take a look at the NHL playoff picture at the break.

2023 NHL playoff picture

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

  1. Boston Bruins, 83 points
  2. Toronto Maple Leafs, 70 points
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning, 65 points

The Bruins are running away with the division and it doesn’t seem likely anyone will catch them. Boston only has to play the Maple Leafs one more time the rest of the regular season. The Bruins don’t have to deal with the Bolts again. So it’s going to be tough for Tampa Bay or Toronto to gain ground without Boston faltering big time. The break also comes at the perfect timing with the Bruins having lost three of four games.

Metropolitan Division

  1. Carolina Hurricanes, 76 points
  2. New Jersey Devils, 68 points
  3. New York Rangers, 62 points

The Metro division figures to be pretty tight down the stretch. The Canes and Devils only have one more game against each other the rest of the way. Carolina plays the Rangers three more times, so New York has a chance to spoil the Canes’ chances of grabbing first place in the Metro. Behind that trio are three other teams vying for two spots: the Capitals, Penguins and Islanders. Almost every team in that group has games on Washington, so the Caps have a tough road ahead.

Wild Card

  1. Washington Capitals, 60 points
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins, 57 points
  3. Buffalo Sabres, 56 points
  4. New York Islanders, 55 points
  5. Florida Panthers, 54 points

Aside from the three Metro teams, the Sabres and Panthers are the two WC contenders from the ATL. The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy last season and have regressed after the Huberdeau-Tkachuk swap. The Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers — surprisingly enough — aren’t too far outside the playoff picture.

Western Conference

Central Division

  1. Dallas Stars, 66 points
  2. Winnipeg Jets, 65 points
  3. Minnesota Wild, 58 points

The Central Division is going to likely come down to the final week of the season. Dallas and Winnipeg are done for the year. The Stars have plenty of games left against the Wild and Avalanche down the stretch. Colorado is only a point behind Minnesota at the break. The defending champs have also dealt with injuries most of the season. They’re still very much in play to win the Central.

Pacific Division

  1. Seattle Kraken, 63 points
  2. Vegas Golden Knights, 63 points
  3. Los Angeles Kings, 62 points

Similarly, the Pacific has five teams within five points of each other: the Kraken, Golden Knights, Kings, Oilers and Flames. Seattle has a key five-game East Coast roadtrip after the ASB. That could determine whether or not they can win the division. The Kraken and Golden Knights play the final two games of the regular season, which could decide the Pacific.

Wild Card

  1. Edmonton Oilers, 60 points
  2. Colorado Avalanche, 57 points
  3. Calgary Flames, 57 points
  4. Nashville Predators, 54 points
  5. St. Louis Blues, 49 points

The Predators and Blues are both long-shots to win the Central, so the wild card will be their avenue to get in. The Preds snuck into the playoffs last season while the Blues were a top-3 team in the division. St. Louis could decide to sell at the deadline in March and effectively take themselves out of playoff contention. How the Blues perform after the break could decide which path Doug Armstrong takes.