It’s been a wild season, but the league is still in control of the playoff picture and will likely see its first playoff game in 2018, according to ESPN’s Todd McShay.
“There are a lot of wild swings, and this is part of the reason why there are so many playoff spots and that is because of the way the NHL is structured,” McShays co-host of the Locked on Sports podcast.
“But there’s no way in hell that the top 10 teams from the regular season can all be at the top of the standings.”
The 10-team playoff field will be a tough one for the teams with a chance to make the playoffs.
The teams with the most home games to their names (nine) and a few that are already in the hunt (seven) will be the ones that get a bye week.
The rest of the field has a few big names to watch in the wildcard rounds, but McShades said there’s a chance that teams like the Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins could all make the postseason.
“If you’re looking for the biggest wildcard teams in the league, the Predators and Blackhawks are the biggest surprises,” he said.
“You’re going to have a couple of teams that will make the playoff.
As a matter of fact, I think they’ll probably be the surprise team this year, because the Predators will be so big that you have to go into the playoffs without them.”