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If the Playoffs Started Today – NHL Week 10

Penguins vs Blackhawks: Week 10's prediction for the Stanley Cup

10 weeks into the season, things are still being shaken up. Pittsburgh is on a major roll. Plenty of squads are still hoping to get into the race. The playoff teams in general are crowding each other and could drastically shift among each other at any time. So before this wacky season gets any wackier, let’s look at what would happen if the playoffs started as of Saturday, March 30 at 7:45pm:

West

#1 Chicago Blackhawks vs #8 St Louis Blues

Chicago may not be the juggernaut they were to start the season, but they are still difficult to put down. With St Louis on a three-game losing streak, Chicago will definitely make them question their chances.

#2 Anaheim Ducks vs #7 San Jose Sharks

Like Chicago, Anaheim is soaring above the rest of the West. They also haven’t been invincible for awhile, but are still proving very difficult to defeat. San Jose has won three straight, but will still be quite vulnerable on the road.

#3 Vancouver Canucks vs #6 Detroit Red Wings

Detroit has the talent when they need to win, but Vancouver has won six straight, and has stats comparable to Detroit. Combine the momentum with home-rink advantage and Detroit, while being able to win, will have a rather tough time.

#4 Minnesota Wild vs #5 Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota is doing very well for itself, while Los Angeles is steadily progressing up the rankings. Both teams are much better at home than away, though with LA continuing to get better, they could definitely win in Minnesota, which doesn’t have much playoff experience.

East

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs #8 New York Rangers

Pittsburgh has won a whopping 15 straight games, and though they didn’t need to, they acquired talented right winger Jarome Iginla. New York doesn’t have nearly enough firepower to hang with Pittsburgh. (In case you were wondering, the longest ever winning streak is 17 games held by, wait for it, Pittsburgh [1992-1993].)

#2 Montreal Canadiens vs #7 New Jersey Devils

New Jersey is fluttering nicely at #7, but that’s all they can do right now. They have just five road wins all season (compared to 12 for Montreal). With Montreal getting plenty of good games in, defending their Northeast lead against nearly the whole division, the Canadiens are a good bet to take down the defending Eastern Conference winners.

#3 Winnipeg Jets vs #6 Toronto Maple Leafs

The Jets are doing an okay job working on their division lead, but can’t catch up to the rest of the East. Perhaps the extra travel is taking its toll, but with a -17 goal differential, they’ll have a tough time in any case. That’s especially true when you consider Toronto‘s particularly good offense.

#4 Boston Bruins vs #5 Ottawa Senators

All of a sudden, Boston is having a difficult time coming up with points. The Senators still have their injuries, but they’re about to get their star goaltender Craig Anderson back, which will give them three good options in net. Boston still has enough talent to hold the advantage, but with the way Ottawa is playing even after all their injuries, that advantage won’t last much longer.

What Might Change Next Week:

  • At this point, it’s not far-fetched at all to see the Islanders move into the Rangers’ #8 position, especially considering the Rangers play Pittsburgh twice this week.

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