NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Complete Standings, Bracket and Wild-Card Race

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 23, 2022

NHL Playoff Picture 2022: Complete Standings, Bracket and Wild-Card Race

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    Andy Devlin/Getty Images

    With three goals from Evander Kane and a win over the best team in the Western Conference, the Edmonton Oilers secured their spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs on Friday. Kane's big night lifted the Oilers to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche and helped them clinch a postseason berth for the third consecutive year.

    Edmonton became the fifth team in the West to secure a playoff spot this season, leaving five teams to battle for the final three berths. The Oilers joined the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and St. Louis Blues, while the Avs have already clinched the No. 1 seed.

    Things are even more set in the Eastern Conference, as the eight-team field is locked in, with the Florida Panthers having clinched the top seed. There are still some seeding battles taking place, but there are no teams with a chance to play their way in.

    Here's a look at the NHL standings and the playoff picture with less than a week to go in the regular season.

NHL Standings

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    Andy Devlin/Getty Images

    Eastern Conference

    1. z-Florida Panthers: 118 points

    2. x-Carolina Hurricanes: 108

    3. x-Toronto Maple Leafs: 108

    4. x-New York Rangers: 108

    5. x-Tampa Bay Lightning: 102

    6. x-Boston Bruins: 99

    7. x-Pittsburgh Penguins: 99

    8. x-Washington Capitals: 99

    9. e-New York Islanders: 80

    10. e-Columbus Blue Jackets: 77

    11. e-Buffalo Sabres: 71

    12. e-Detroit Red Wings: 70

    13. e-Ottawa Senators: 67

    14. e-New Jersey Devils: 61

    15. e-Philadelphia Flyers: 59

    16. e-Montreal Canadiens: 51


    Western Conference

    1. z-Colorado Avalanche: 116 points

    2. x-Minnesota Wild: 107

    3. y-Calgary Flames: 106

    4. x-St. Louis Blues: 105

    5. x-Edmonton Oilers: 98

    6. Los Angeles Kings: 94

    7. Nashville Predators: 93

    8. Dallas Stars: 91

    9. Vegas Golden Knights: 89

    10. Vancouver Canucks: 87

    11. e-Winnipeg Jets: 81

    12. e-Anaheim Ducks: 74

    13. e-San Jose Sharks: 72

    14. e-Chicago Blackhawks: 63

    15. e-Seattle Kraken: 58

    16. e-Arizona Coyotes: 50


    x-clinched playoff berth

    y-clinched division title

    z-clinched best record in conference

    e-eliminated from playoff contention

Eastern Conference Bracket

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    No. 1 Florida Panthers vs. No. 8 Washington Capitals

    No. 2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 7 Pittsburgh Penguins

    No. 3 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 6 Boston Bruins

    No. 4 New York Rangers vs. No. 5 Tampa Bay Lightning


    Wild-Card Picture

    Near the top of the East standings, the Hurricanes, Maple Leafs and Rangers all have 108 points. They're all likely going to host first-round playoff series, but they could still move around over the next week.

    There's some intrigue in the wild-card picture, too. The Bruins, Penguins and Capitals all have 99 points, and none of these three teams are going to want to end up as the No. 8 seed, which will draw a difficult first-round matchup against the Panthers.

    Pittsburgh and Washington are battling for third place in the Metropolitan Division, each having played 78 games. Boston will likely be a wild card, as it's sitting three points back of Tampa Bay for third in the Atlantic Division. But the Bruins have played one fewer game than the Penguins and Caps, which could give them a leg up in the battle for seeding.

    If Washington can move up to No. 6 or No. 7 and avoid a matchup with Florida, it will be a dangerous team to watch. The Capitals have a prolific offensive attack, and if they can get solid play from their defense and goaltenders, they have the ability to make a playoff run.

    On Friday, Washington notched a 2-0 victory over Arizona for its seventh win in its last nine games. Not only that, but the Caps are an NHL-best 25-8-6 on the road this season, which could bode well for their postseason chances.

    The Bruins and Penguins are solid teams, too, so there's the potential for some upsets in the first round of this year's playoffs. And even though the Lightning are currently the No. 5 seed and could be heading on the road to open the postseason, they're the two-time defending Stanley Cup winners.

Western Conference Bracket

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    Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

    No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 8 Dallas Stars

    No. 2 Minnesota Wild vs. No. 7 Nashville Predators

    No. 3 Calgary Flames vs. No. 6 Los Angeles Kings

    No. 4 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 5 Edmonton Oilers


    Wild-Card Picture

    There is plenty of intrigue in the Western Conference for this final stretch. That's because there's still a decent chance that Vegas will force its way into the playoffs, and Vancouver isn't out of the running yet, either. Meanwhile, any of Los Angeles, Nashville and Dallas could still fall and miss the postseason.

    The Kings may be currently in sixth with 94 points, but they've played 79 games, meaning they have only three remaining. The Predators (93 points in 77 games) will have opportunities to jump them in the standings.

    In the battle for the No. 8 seed, the Stars have a two-point advantage over the Golden Knights, with both teams having played 78 games. The Canucks, who have also played 78 contests, are two points back of the Golden Knights.

    It would take an impressive final stretch and some help for Vancouver to make the playoffs, but it's not impossible. Vegas will also need help, but it's in a better spot to capitalize.

    The Golden Knights have never missed the playoffs, as they made it in each of their first four seasons as an NHL franchise. They're in danger of that streak ending, and their matchup against the Stars on Tuesday could be huge in determining what happens.

    If Vegas is going to extend its postseason streak, it will have to do so without goaltender Robin Lehner, who is undergoing season-ending surgery because of a lower-body injury, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan. So the Golden Knights will be relying on Logan Thompson as their starting goaltender moving forward.