NHL Playoff Race Update: Who's on the Outside Looking In?

The NHL playoffs are close to starting, but the field still needs to be set. Which teams are in good shape, and which ones are on the outside looking in?

It's an underrated time of year for sports. Though the NCAA Tournament is over, we've got the start of baseball season, the NFL Draft, and the NBA postseason to look forward to.

And even though the NHL is everyone's favorite league to hate on, there are few things in sports better than the NHL playoffs.

There's only a couple of games to go for most teams, but we still don't have a clear playoff picture. The table below shows a snapshot of the race among teams who still haven't clinched a spot.

Eastern ConferencePointsPlayoff OddsGames Remaining
New York Islanders9899.76%2
Detroit Red Wings9796.88%2
Pittsburgh Penguins9693.12%2
Boston Bruins9569.08%2
Ottawa Senators9541.16%2

In the East, the Penguins and Bruins, currently holding the wild card spots, have higher odds than Ottawa in getting in. Unfortunately for the Sens, despite a big win over Pittsburgh earlier in the week, their two remaining games aren't against the Penguins and Bruins, so they won't be able to gain ground in quicker fashion. The extra point Pittsburgh got in that game is mostly the difference in odds, and why they're almost a lock to make it, barring a huge collapse (which, with the current Penguins team, could happen).

Western ConferencePointsPlayoff OddsGames Remaining
Winnipeg Jets9693.08%2
Calgary Flames9585.12%2
Los Angeles Kings9321.80%2

Out west, the Kings can only catch the Flames and the Jets. Tonight, however, Los Angeles and Calgary will face off in a huge battle -- if the Kings end up losing in regulation, the season is over.

For our up-to-date Stanley Cup odds, check out the following table, which highlights our top-five teams.

RankCup OddsnERD
1New York Rangers14.60%0.65
2Tampa Bay Lightning12.04%0.51
3St. Louis Blues10.84%0.57
4Chicago Blackhawks8.72%0.54
5Washington Capitals7.00%0.39

For more, check out our power rankings.