The NHL is expecting the top of the standings to come down to just two teams and the Eastern Conference as the best two in the Western Conference, with a second wild-card spot locked up, but the NHL has no firm prediction on which one will win it all.
The Eastern Conference will win its first Stanley Cup in 23 years.
That could mean one of the two teams could get swept out of the playoffs, but there could be a wild card or a wild-play scenario.
That is where things could get interesting.
“The two best teams in the West will meet in the playoffs,” said Craig Custance, a longtime NHL analyst and head of the Sports Business Journal.
“That is the most likely scenario.”
The two teams that would have the best chance of advancing are the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals.
Both teams have been able to win three straight playoff series, with the Kings winning six of those in a row and the Capitals beating the Los Vegas Kings 5-2 in overtime in Game 6 in 2014.
“They’ve won three straight and haven’t lost a game in the series,” said Custance.
There are no Stanley Cups to play for.” “
But that team has some issues going into the playoffs.
There are no Stanley Cups to play for.”
The other team to look out for is the Detroit Red Wings, who have won the past six Stanley Cups and are looking to add to that streak.
Detroit is coming off a 6-1 series victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday, a game that could have the potential to be the series winner.
“It’s a team that won three in a series in the first round last year, which is a team we haven’t played in a couple of years,” said Patrick Roy, the Red Wings coach.
“There is a real possibility that they can do that again.”
The Detroit Red Wing line of Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader is probably the best defensive pairing in the NHL.
The team will have the same number of defensemen as the Ducks, which should help against Zetterberberg’s speed and Dats’ size.
Dats was a member of the team to win the Presidents Trophy last year.
“Zetterberg is a great player, he can do whatever he wants, but Dats is a very talented player,” Roy said.
“He’s a guy that can play the puck, he’s a strong skater, he has a great shot, he is smart and plays hard.
Roy also said the Red Wing defensemen should be able to slow down the speedy Anaheim Ducks. “
Dats is just so underrated.”
Roy also said the Red Wing defensemen should be able to slow down the speedy Anaheim Ducks.
“I’m not sure that they are a team to get away with it, but they are very good in the neutral zone,” he said.
The Detroit Wings are also coming off an 8-3 series victory against the Anaheim Kings in Game 4, and they could be in for a big test in Game 5 on Thursday.
“We know they’re a good team, but we’re not expecting that to be a repeat of the series against Anaheim,” Roy added.
“Our goaltending will be our Achilles heel and we know it will be a tough test, but our goal is to get back to the conference finals.”
The Ducks, who lost Game 4 4-3, will have to be ready for the best defense pairing in hockey when they meet the Red Stars on Thursday night at American Airlines Center.
“You’ve got the top two teams in this league and you’ve got some guys that you’ve never seen before,” said Roy.
The Kings have a little bit of a tougher test to face. “
If we play well enough and we can keep playing hard and we’re confident, we’ll be in a position where we can win.”
The Kings have a little bit of a tougher test to face.
“With Anaheim, we know we’re a tough team to play,” said Kings forward Jarret Stoll.
“Obviously Anaheim is a good hockey team, and it’s tough.
We’ll have some guys to worry about tonight.”
Stoll said the Kings will be more focused on protecting their lead and getting the puck out in the offensive zone.
“What’s important is that we have a good chance of scoring and we need to be able do that,” Stoll added.