The start of the 2021 NHL Playoffs is just a few short days away, and teams are scrambling for their playoff positions. With the playoff format changing this season due to the pandemic, playoff positioning is even more important than usual. The first round of the playoffs will be strictly within the division, as the top four teams will face off against each other. The #1 seed will play the #4, while the #2 seed will play #3. The winners of those two series will then play. The final four remaining teams will then be re-seeded based on their regular season point totals. It’s time to take a look at our latest Playoffs update so you can continue planning your bets against their NHL Playoffs odds.
NHL Betting: Portrait of What Would the 2021 NHL Playoffs Look Like
NHL Central Division
Most of the teams only have two or three regular season games remaining, so this week will be vital for many teams. Let’s start in the Central Division. The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently sitting in third place. Just two points behind the Florida Panthers, and just four points ahead of the division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. The Lightning plays two games this week against the Dallas Stars, who are currently sitting in fifth place, just four points behind the Nashville Predators. These games will be huge for both teams. Dallas needs to win these games to get into the playoffs, while Tampa Bay wants to keep winning to try to win the division and to stay out of a first round playoff matchup with either the Panthers or the Hurricanes. Tampa also has two games left with the Panthers, so those will be huge as well.
NHL East Division
In the East Division, the four playoff spots are pretty much decided. The four teams could all change spots, though. The Boston Bruins are in third place, just one point ahead of the New York Islanders. These two teams will meet next week. Both of these teams could conceivably catch the Capitals and Penguins. There is just a four-point difference between them.
NHL North Division
The North Division is pretty well set as far as the four qualifiers go. The Maple Leafs, Oilers, Jets, and Canadiens should all be set for the playoffs. The Jets and Canadiens are currently tied with 57 points. The Jets and the Canadiens both have five games remaining, so the race for the third spot in the division could go down to the wire.
NHL West Division
In the West, the Golden Knights, Avalanche, and Wild are all solid. There could be some maneuvering amongst the three, as they’re only separated by four points. There could be a battle for the fourth and final spot. The St. Louis Blues currently hold that position with a five point lead over the Coyotes. The Blues finish the season with two games against the Wild. These will be huge games for both teams involved.
Even though many have been against the NHL’s divisional format this season, it has made for some exciting hockey. The playoff races have been highly contested, and the teams’ familiarity with each other has made for some very competitive games. This season’s playoffs should be highly competitive and a fun set of games to watch!
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