The NHL Playoff Bubble Meets The Eliminator

Date IconLast Updated: Mar 7th, 2023
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The NHL Playoff Bubble Meets The Eliminator
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 What is “The Eliminator”? It is our way of projecting how many points it will take to nab a playoff spot in a conference. Is this 100% accurate? No. However, understanding who may or may not see the second season can help you be profitable in your NHL betting

After all, timing is everything. In early February, the New York Islanders were +324 to make the playoffs, and now they are +155. Ottawa was a long shot at best, hovering around +1000. The Senators have shortened to +650 and may do so further. Buffalo has wobbled around and is currently +300. 

Winnipeg was almost an automatic to make the playoffs in February. As of today, they are at -210. That is hardly a given. While it is not likely the Jets will completely miss out on the postseason, Winnipeg is only six points ahead of Calgary and has lost eight of their previous 10 games. Calgary is 3-5-2 in that span. However, it salvaged a vast two points on the road against Dallas last night. 

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What Does Our Eliminator Do?

Again, this is taken from several data points. There is always a human aspect to the projections. How are these teams looking over their last 10-20 games? Are noticeable changes present? Keep in mind there are always quirks. Ottawa rolled along and then ran into their kryptonite - the Chicago Blackhawks. That’s right. Chicago bested the Senators for the 10th time in a row via a 5-0 shutout.

So, what do the conferences look like? The West appears to have a somewhat more precise picture. With teams mostly jockeying for seeding, that may be more chaotic. Futures betting for who wins the division are still up in the air.

Several teams could easily win the Central or the Pacific. As for the Eastern Conference, it appears that either Carolina or New Jersey will win the Metropolitan, while Boston has been a lock for months to win the Atlantic. 

A Different Kind Of Playoff Table

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

Team GP Points Point Pace Point Cutoff* Record ROS
Winnipeg 64 75 96 95 9-7-2
Colorado 61 74 99 95 10-10-1
Calgary 64 69 89 95 11-3-4
Nashville 61 69 93 95 12-7-2

We also 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. Their three-game losing streak is troubling but not concerning at all to oddsmakers.

Nashville seems in a better position compared to Calgary (+160). However, Nashville has to win the games in hand, which appears to be a struggle. The Predators are missing several players, including Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg. With what they sold off at the deadline (Mattias Ekholm, etc.), the Preds are a long shot at +250. If they continue having problems beating teams like Vancouver, expect that number to balloon. 

Colorado is at the tipping point where it likely just has to go .500 to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. It should exceed that target and reach 100 points (the current pace is 99.4).

Who Makes The Playoffs In The West?

The Avalanche will make the postseason and get healthy as April approaches. However, the other three teams battling for that final spot are far less certain. Calgary has a somewhat easier schedule compared to Nashville. The Predators are banged up and have more back-to-back scenarios. 

It appears the final spot comes down to Winnipeg and Calgary. Can the Jets be trusted to hold down that last spot, or does another team enter the bubble? Stay tuned. However, tossing a few dollars on Calgary is intriguing. As for Nashville, let us not push things yet. The top eight seem to be eight to make it into the second season. 

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