NHL Playoff Bubble About to Burst for a Few Teams

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NHL Playoff Bubble About to Burst for a Few Teams
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The NHL playoff bubble is going to burst on a few teams. The bubble is filled with teams clawing to those final playoff spots. Now, only nine days remain in the regular season. These playoff races have become must-watch television. Just when we think some teams are out, they pull themselves back in. 

Washington lost four straight and was officially eliminated. In the West, St. Louis met the same fate. The teams remaining are close, with only a handful of games remaining. Playoff props reflect uncertainty. 

NHL betting sites have Winnipeg -400 in the West, which signifies concern. The Jets got help from Chicago, who beat Calgary in regulation on Tuesday night. Nashville is up and down but managed an overtime win over Vegas to stay close.

Seattle Virtually Off The Bubble

Again, the bubble moves like something which constantly changes shape and size. Seattle, with consecutive wins, has 94 points and is five clear of Winnipeg. Only five games remaining, and the Kraken schedule features a home-and-home with Arizona and a game versus Chicago. This is before closing the regular season with two against Vegas. 

So, Seattle has been taken off almost every site to make the playoffs. The inevitable is coming as the Kraken saw Colorado officially clinch a postseason spot early Wednesday morning. 

Do not expect this to come down to the Vegas games. 

People wonder why Center Ice has its dash for the playoffs. Wait, there are some shenanigans afoot. 

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Penguins, Islanders, And Panthers Oh My!

New York looked to be the team on its way to ascending to a playoff spot, and then the Islanders lost consecutive games. Pittsburgh dropped one in New Jersey on Tuesday, losing six of its previous nine contests. Naturally, Florida rides Alex Lyon to four wins in a row. The Panthers now have 87 points. 

Pittsburgh is one point behind at 86, and the Islanders are now tied with Florida. All three teams have four games remaining. Thursday features all three teams with home matchups. 

  • Florida plays Ottawa
  • Pittsburgh is home to Minnesota
  • New York is home to Tampa Bay

Simply, this does not get easier. All three teams are favored to make the playoffs. Yes, even Florida is -280, which is a surprise. Pittsburgh currently comes in at -115. New York is a tentative -300 if anyone has ever seen one. Their schedule is the easiest of the three teams.

Then again, the defense may win championships, but this year some offensive pop gets you in the playoffs. 

West Playoff Bubble Table Time 

Sometimes, there is table bubble time.

Team GP Points Point Pace Point Cutoff* Record ROS
Seattle 77 94 100 95 0-4-1
Winnipeg 77 89 95 95 3-2-0
Nashville 77 86 92 95 4-0-1
Calgary 78 87 91 95 4-0-0


Now, Winnipeg controls its destiny. A regulation win over Calgary tonight likely carries the Jets into the playoffs. Anything less, even a three-point game, keeps the door ajar for both Calgary and Nashville. If a regulation loss occurs, hit the red button hard! 

Nashville needs the most help at +850. After its loss to Chicago, Calgary must win tonight and is at +500 to make the playoffs.

Value is with Calgary, but the goaltending tilts the advantage to Winnipeg. 

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Who Makes The Playoffs In The West And East?

As we said, the West remains a three-team race. The bad news for Nashville is it cannot win in front of Juuse Saros. Yet, it finds ways to beat Boston and then Vegas. Young teams do this, and it can be aggravating. It may not be enough that these AHL players are playing above their heads. Winnipeg is in the best position.

As for the East, the picture got less congested, but the three teams battling for two spots could come down to next Thursday. New York has a nice homestand but needs to win. Florida must keep the momentum rolling. Pittsburgh may be the team in the most considerable trouble. The jolt is not there right now. If something does not spark, it may be curtains.

Stay tuned, as the yo-yo is always going up and down regarding the playoff bubble. 

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Chris Wassel

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