NHL Second Half Preview

By kaplanssportstory
Jan. 30, 2017

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The All-Stars in the NHL this past weekend had a lot of fun, but now it is time to get back to being serious. The second half of the season begins tomorrow and the trade deadline is approaching very soon.

So if the season ended right now the playoff matchups would be : Eastern Conference: (WC2) Philadelphia Flyers vs (1) Washington Capitals, (3) Pittsburgh Penguins vs (2) Columbus Blue Jackets, (WC1) New York Rangers vs (1) Montreal Canadiens, and (3) Boston Bruins vs (2) Ottawa Senators.

Western Conference: (WC2) Calgary Flames vs (1) Minnesota Wild, (3) Nashville Predators vs (2) Chicago Blackhawks, (WC1) St. Louis Blues vs (1) San Jose Sharks, and (3) Anaheim Ducks vs (2) Edomonton Oilers.

Possible Stanley Cup Contenders: Washington Capitals, Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, and Chicago Blackhawks.

Pretenders: New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim Ducks. 

Which teams could sneak into the playoffs that are currently on the outside looking in? Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Islanders, and Dallas Stars. The way the playoff picture is currently is, I think it will be the same teams come April, but maybe with different seeding.