NHL Western Conference Playoff Race Far from Over

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April 19, 2022

The NHL’s Western Conference Playoff race appears to be far from over, with at least one or two spots still potentially up for grabs, with up to five teams vying for them. With the Eastern Conference all but settled, the drama has shifted to the West during the final two weeks of the regular season schedule.

If you look back just two weeks ago, Dallas, Nashville, and Los Angeles all appeared to be as close to sure things as you could get, but Dallas didn’t take advantage of their games in hand and the Kings have faltered. Below, we dive into the five teams remaining schedules and their odds on the FanDuel Sportsbook to make the playoffs.

Dallas Stars (91 points)

Remaining games: @EDM, @CGY, vs. SEA, vs. VGK, vs. ARZ, vs. ANA

FanDuel Playoff Odds: Make playoffs -2000/not +1040

The Stars were on the outside of the playoff picture looking in for the majority of the season, but they took advantage of their schedule in March and used it to climb into the second wild-card position. Their matchup against Vegas will be a four-point game and could swing things either way…that’s likely the one you want to keep an eye on most here.

Nashville Predators (91 points) 

Remaining games: vs. CGY, @TB, vs. MIN, vs. CGY, @COL, @ARZ

FanDuel Playoff Odds: Make playoffs -1200/not +660

Nashville has been a fairly consistent playoff team from start to finish, but has slowed down towards the end of the season and posted a 5-4-1 record over their last ten. It’s safe to say they can be considered lucky that the Golden Knights didn’t get hot over that stretch and take over the top wild-card position. With that being said, the Predators have the most difficult remaining schedule of these five teams, which could make things interesting.

Los Angeles Kings (90 points)

Remaining games: @ANA, vs. CHI, vs. ANA, @SEA, @VAN

FanDuel Playoff Odds: Make playoffs -480/not +330

The biggest thing the Kings may have going for them down the stretch here is that they have the easiest remaining schedule of the five teams still in playoff contention. There was a time when the Golden Knights held the advantage here with the Kings sitting at just 4-5-1 over their last ten, but the Golden Knights have had two crucial losses and have not taken advantage of the LA’a slow finish.

Vegas Golden Knights (87 points)

Remaining games: vs. WSH, vs. SJ, @DAL, @CHI, @STL

FanDuel Playoff Odds: Make playoffs +260/not -370

The Golden Knights had a real chance to make a playoff push over the last week, but losses to New Jersey and Edmonton may have derailed their season. They still have some hope here as they’re as close to fully healthy as they’ve been all year, but it could take running the table in order to put some pressure on the teams ahead of them.

Vancouver Canucks (86 points)

Remaining games: vs. OTT, @MIN, @CGY, vs. SEA, vs. LA, @EDM

FanDuel Playoff Odds: Make playoffs +570/not -1000

A week ago, you would have likely said the Canucks were dead in the water, but six straight victories have put them back in the race, even if their odds are still slim. Wouldn’t it be something if their playoff lives came down to the last game of the season, where they’ll take on one of their biggest rivals in Edmonton?

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to say that the race is close to being over with the Stars, Kings, and Predators all hanging onto their playoff spots, but there’s still a legitimate chance that one of these teams runs into a brick wall over the final two weeks and one of the Golden Knights or Canucks capitalize on that opportunity.

 

 

Thumbnail photo via Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

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