The 2022-23 NHL season is coming to a close and teams have about a month or so until the playoffs begin. The race toward the Stanley Cup Playoffs figures to be another competitive one but we’re already starting to see teams clinch spots. Here we’re going to go over the NHL standings and update you with teams that have clinched a berth into the playoffs this season.
Update — Five of the 16 teams in the field for the playoffs have clinched. The next teams up include the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights. The five teams in the postseason as of March 29 are all from the Eastern Conference.
Update — Here’s the full list of teams who have clinched playoff berths. Below is when they clinched and some background info.
Team that have clinched 2022-23 Stanley Cup Playoff berth
Date clinched: March 11
The Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders lost to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. That was enough for the Bruins to clinch a playoff berth with 18 games to spare left in the regular season. The Bruins are going to run away with the Presidents’ Trophy this season. Boston is nearly 20 points clear of the Toronto Maple Leafs for first place in the Atlantic Division and 11 points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes overall in the NHL standings as of March 11.
As of this writing, the Bruins are favorites to win the Stanley Cup at +380 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Date clinched: March 23
The Hurricanes clinched the second spot into the playoffs behind the Bruins after the Florida Panthers lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Thursday night. Carolina had lost to the New York Rangers earlier in the night 2-1, so the Canes kind of backed into a berth. It’s going to be tight fighting to remain in the top spot in the Metro division. The New Jersey Devils are just two points behind the Hurricanes and Rangers are six points behind. Carolina does have a game in hand on New Jersey and two games on New York.
New Jersey Devils
Date clinched: March 25
The Devils are back in the playoffs, just their second trip in the past 11 seasons. Before that span, the Devils had gone to the Stanley Cup Final in 2012, losing to the Los Angeles Kings. This is pretty easily the best Devils team in the regular season since that season. New Jersey also has an outside shot of catching Carolina for first place in the Metro division. The Devils got their on the backs of Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier and Dougie Hamilton. Hughes has a shot at being a Hart Trophy finalist, entering the second-to-last week of the season with 86 points (40 goals, 46 assists).
Toronto Maple Leafs
Date clinched: March 27
The Leafs got in with the Florida Panthers’ loss to the Ottawa Senators on Monday. Toronto clinches its seventh straight berth into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and are on a collision course to face the Tampa Bay Lightning again in the first round of the postseason. Last year, the Leafs fell in seven games to the eventual Eastern Conference champions.
New York Rangers
Date clinched: March 27
The Rangers also got in when the Panthers lost on Monday and are back in the playoffs after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021-22. The Rangers have a shot at home-ice advantage in the first round, a series likely to be played against the rival New Jersey Devils. The Rangers haven’t gotten the same level of goaltending from Igor Shesterkin this season but added Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane in what is very much an all-in play. In any case, if Shesterkin can stop goals in the playoffs the Rangers’ offense will be tough to keep up with on a nightly basis.
Vegas Golden Knights
Date clinched: March 30
The Golden Knights became the first team out of the Western Conference to clinch a berth into the playoffs in 2022-23. Vegas got in on a Predators loss on Thursday night. The Golden Knights have a shot at sealing up the top seed in the conference. They could also fall as far down as third place in the Pacific Division by the end of the regular season. That’s how close the West standings are right now.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Date Clinched: April 1
The Bolts are back in the postseason for a sixth straight season in search of their third Stanley Cup in the past four seasons. Tampa Bay’s streak of Cups came to an end at two in a row after losing to the Colorado Avalanche last season. The Lightning aren’t nearly the same dominant team but know all they needed to do was get in to have a chance at making another run. Tampa Bay will meet the Toronto Maple Leafs again in the first round; the Bolts defeated Toronto in seven games last season.
Date Clinched: April 1
The Oilers clinched late Saturday night with a 6-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Leon Draisaitl scored a hat trick to make it to 50 goals and 120 points on the season and he’s well behind Connor McDavid still in those categories. Defense and goaltending are still question marks in the postseason but Edmonton is going to be scary with those two leading the way.
Los Angeles Kings
Date Clinched: April 2
The Kings are back in the playoffs for the second straight season after missing out for three straight. Los Angeles is still fighting for seeding and have an outside shot at actually taking the top seed out of the Pacific Division and even the Western Conference. That’s how close every team is at this point. A deal for goalie Joonas Korpisalo has the Kings positioned well to compete in the postseason. L.A. has a deep lineup led by Kevin Fiala, and veterans Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, who have won multiple Stanley Cup Finals.
Date Clinched: April 3
The Stars get in after a dominant win over the Nashville Predators on Monday night. Dallas still has plenty of work to do this season to try and secure the top seed from the Central Division in the playoffs, avoiding the Wild and Avalanche in the process. Jason Robertson has a shot at getting into the Hart Trophy finalist conversation and is on pace to clear 100 points for the first time in his career.
Date Clinched: April 3
The Wild are in the playoffs thanks to defensive hockey and Matt Boldy, who has stepped up big time with Kirill Kaprizov sidelined. If Kaprizov can come back in time for the postseason, Minnesota will be dangerous given the goaltending duo of Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury. Boldy might be the hottest player entering the postseason with two hat tricks in the past two weeks.
Date Clinched: April 4
The defending champions are back in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and ready to defend their title. Colorado is still in a fight for first place in the Central Division with the Stars and Wild. Claiming the top seed from the division means avoiding the Stars or Wild in the first round, and likely facing the Kraken, Jets or Flames. It’s been an up-and-down season for the Avs given injuries to Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Gabriel Landeskog and most of the forward group, plus withstanding the loss of Nazem Kadri and goalie Darcy Kuemper. Still, Colorado will have as good a shot as any to repeat as Cup champions.