The NHL Playoff Hot Seat: Washington Running Out of Time?

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The NHL Playoff Hot Seat: Washington Running Out of Time?
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The NHL Playoff Bubble rides again on The bubble is filled with liquid, hot magma, especially for teams desperate to make the playoffs. Imagine the fun it will be over the next three weeks trying to determine who gets to the second season. Our best suggestion is to sit back, make sure the batteries work in the remote, and enjoy the carnage.

Now, Washington has hit a little reality. Their number blew up to +2500 on DraftKings as the injuries continued to mount. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh saw their odds hover around +150 to +200 to make the playoffs. Yes, they beat Colorado on Wednesday night but play Dallas this evening. Their schedule is not exactly the easiest. 

Winnipeg moved into the -250 to -300 range, which remains hardly a lock. The Jets stand at -280 right now and are 5-3-2 in their last ten games. Their schedule resembles a field full of landmines as the Jets try to survive pushes from Calgary and even Nashville. 

Ottawa And Washington On Their Last Legs?

Again, the yo-yo effect takes hold in these bubble races often. Some bounce onto the bubble, and some right off the bubble. Ottawa and Washington were looking good, and then last week happened. Ottawa dropped a few games, and the Capitals lost three straight contests. Combine that with Buffalo falling on their face, yet the bubble still carries intrigue.

So, Florida, Pittsburgh, and the New York Islanders appear poised to battle for the final two playoff spots in the East. One of these teams will miss the playoffs. Just when one thinks they have this all figured out, Florida lays an egg against Philadelphia on Tuesday night. That is partly why Ottawa and Washington cannot be entirely written off this week. 

Let’s Have Some Fun With This

The division races need a break for a week. Instead, we will move on to those fun bubble tables. After all, anyone wanting play-in rounds must realize those rounds are occurring right now. That is why Center Ice has its dash for the playoffs. Yes, the wildness is only getting started. 

West Playoff Bubble Table Time 

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

Team GP Points Point Pace Point Cutoff* Record ROS
Colorado 70 88 103 95 3-8-1
Seattle 70 85 99 95 4-6-2
Winnipeg 72 83 95 95 5-3-2
Nashville 69 78 93 95 8-4-1
Calgary 72 79 90 95 7-1-2

Also, Colorado is closer to winning their division as they move off the bubble. Seattle is getting closer to doing the same. The Kraken has reached the tipping point. If they stay around .500, that should be enough to make the playoffs. Now, that is not too bad for their second season.

Nashville is still in a better position than Calgary, but the Predators need to win their games in hand. The reason their number lengthened is because of the injuries and inconsistent play. With Nashville’s health a significant issue, it will be daunting for them to go on a run that puts them in a better position to make the playoffs. 

Basically, the West has some twists, including a late-season Winnipeg and Calgary clash in the final week. Maybe, that is when the final wildcard spot gets decided. Maybe.

Who Gets To The Second Season In The West And East?

The last place still comes down to Winnipeg and Nashville. Again, Calgary must take almost every point out of a crucial five-game homestand. With how teams are playing, that is a tall order, as these teams seem content with being consistently inconsistent. Winnipeg, behind Connor Hellebuyck, should have enough to make the playoffs.

As for the East, their table is coming soon enough. In the meantime, Pittsburgh has enough in the tank to limp into the playoffs. Just when they get written off, the Penguins beat the Avalanche on the road easily 5-2. It feels like the Penguins' way. Even the Islanders were not in a safe position but got helped when Florida lost to Philadelphia. It does seem like the Metropolitan will get five teams in the playoffs.

Stay tuned, as the yo-yo is always going up and down when it comes to the playoff bubble. 

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Chris Wassel

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