NHL Division Rankings and Playoffs


With two nights in the books for a full NHL season, it’s time to take a closer look at how we see each division stacking up. Of course, this won’t be accurate because it’s nearly impossible to get everything right. So, I’ll just do it by ranking and then try my best to setup the playoffs.

One thing to remember. This doesn’t take the injury factor into account. Nor the COVID cases with it already costing Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon a game which his team still won.

Don’t forget that the four divisions are back along with the unconventional top three seeds plus two wildcards in each Conference. It’s never easy to predict. There are usually a few surprises that sneak up on us. Here goes nothing.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Atlantic Division

+1. Florida Panthers

*2. Tampa Bay Lightning

*3. Toronto Maple Leafs

#4. Boston Bruins

5. Montreal Canadiens

6. Detroit Red Wings

7. Ottawa Senators

8. Buffalo Sabres

Metropolitan Division

+1. Carolina Hurricanes

*2. New York Islanders

*3. Philadelphia Flyers

#4. New York Rangers

5. Washington Capitals

6. Pittsburgh Penguins

7. New Jersey Devils

8. Columbus Blue Jackets

+Division Winner

*Playoffs

#Wildcard

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Central Division

+1. Colorado Avalanche

*2. Dallas Stars

*3. Minnesota Wild

#4. St. Louis Blues

#5. Winnipeg Jets

6. Chicago Blackhawks

7. Nashville Predators

8. Arizona Coyotes

Northwest Division

+1. Vegas Golden Knights

*2. Edmonton Oilers

*3. Vancouver Canucks

4. Calgary Flames

5. Los Angeles Kings

6. Anaheim Ducks

7. Seattle Kraken

8. San Jose Sharks

+Division Winner

*Playoffs

#Wildcard

NHL PLAYOFFS

EAST

Division Semifinals

(M1) Hurricanes over (W2) Rangers

(M2) Islanders over (M3) Flyers

(A1) Panthers over (W1) Bruins

(A2) Lightning over (A3) Maple Leafs

Division Finals

Hurricanes over Islanders

Panthers over Lightning

Conference Finals

Hurricanes over Panthers

WEST

Division Semifinals

(C1) Avalanche over (W1) Blues

(C2) Stars over (C3) Wild

(N1) Golden Knights over (W2) Jets

(N3) Canucks over (N2) Oilers

Division Finals

Avalanche over Stars

Golden Knights over Canucks

Conference Finals

Golden Knights over Avalanche

Stanley Cup Finals

Hurricanes over Golden Knights

Conn Smythe Sebastian Aho

Art Ross Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Auston Matthews

Hart Nathan MacKinnon

Norris Cale Makar

Vezina Darcy Kuemper

Selke Aleksander Barkov

Calder Trevor Zegras

Comeback Player Brian Boyle

Breakout Player Nick Suzuki

Best Signing Dougie Hamilton

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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