NHL Teams on the Hot Seat

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NHL Teams on the Hot Seat
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Updates are frequently coming with the NHL playoff bubble here on gambling.com. The bubble is like its hot seat, especially for teams desperate to make the playoffs. 

Imagine a team like the New York Islanders not making the playoffs after doing so little in free agency last summer. Conversely, what if teams like Washington and Nashville were to somehow make the playoffs despite selling at the NHL trade deadline?

Let's look at the NHL betting odds and how we predict it will all play out.

Now, timing is something else, and values are decreasing. Washington remains an extreme long shot at +1025. However, Nashville is creeping back into the picture. They were +600 just two weeks ago and now are +267. It is strange how hockey works sometimes. Teams think they are out of it and keep finding ways to win. Right now, the Predators are an example of that. 

Winnipeg is still hovering between -200 and -250, which is hardly a lock. The Jets stand at -238 right now and are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. Their schedule does not get any easier, and a Rick Bowness team is like a leopard that does not change its spots. Winnipeg is going to be in for some ride. 

Washington Enters A Crowded Mess?

Again, this is up to realistic interpretation. The Washington Capitals, however, are on the fringes of the bubble. Their coach still feels the heat, even with the injuries. So, the Islanders hold the final playoff spot (78 points in 70 games). By points percentage, Pittsburgh also has 78 points but has three games in hand on New York.

So, teams like the Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, and Buffalo Sabres are on the bubble. 

Detroit has lost eight of their past 10 games and has been written off. The numbers make it nearly impossible to get around 93-95 points anyway. Peter Laviolette and the company still have a chance, albeit a small one.

What About The Divisions?

Several teams could still easily win the Central or the Pacific. 

Don't count out Colorado (+181 to win Central) to win the division or even the top seed. 

As for the Eastern Conference, Carolina or New Jersey will win the Metropolitan, while Boston could clinch the Atlantic before March ends. 

Let's Update That West Playoff Bubble Table

Sometimes, shiny tables are needed. This is not all that shiny. 

Team GP Points Point Pace Point Cutoff* Record ROS
Colorado 66 82 101 95 6-9-1
Seattle 67 81 99 95 7-7-1
Winnipeg 68 79 95 95 7-5-2
Nashville 65 75 95 95 9-6-2
Calgary 68 74 89 95 9-2-3

Also, we entered ties into the equation (overtime and shootout losses). Since Calgary has 13, it had to be factored in somehow. The Eastern Conference will likely see a further discussion next week. Colorado is a virtual lock to make the playoffs at -5000. Its three-game losing streak is troubling but not concerning at all to oddsmakers. 

Nashville is now in a better position compared to Calgary (+245). Although, Nashville has to win the games in hand, which appears to be a struggle. The Predators keep losing players, but they have value at +267. If the Predators keep finding ways to win, one has to take a shot on them. Juuse Saros willed this team to a playoff spot last year, along with Roman Josi. 

Colorado is a lock to make the playoffs, and Seattle is now at the tipping point. Winnipeg is on the hot seat, with Nashville slowly nipping at them. Calgary is just about off, which means its GM and coach are about to have some toasty bottoms.

Who Gets To The Second Season In The West?

The final spot comes down to Winnipeg and Nashville. 

While we still have concerns with Seattle, nothing can be ruled out. Even Calgary could go on some miraculous run. No one sees it, but hey, you never know. 

Seattle and Winnipeg are setting the table lately to give the Predators a chance. Imagine if Filip Forsberg comes back. The crazy part is Nashville may not even need Forsberg to make the playoffs. 

Stay tuned. 

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Chris Wassel

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