Too Early NHL Playoff Preview
As we hit the midway point of the exhilarating 23/24 NHL season, the race for playoff contention is heating up, and the stakes are higher than ever. Every game becomes a crucial battle, shaping the postseason landscape. While there's still ample time for teams to make their mark, a few have already caught our attention. Here is a our 2023/24 Too Early Playoff Preview.
The Team No One Thought Would Be Here
In a season filled with surprises, the Philadelphia Flyers have emerged as one of the most unexpected success stories. Currently securing the #2 spot in the fiercely competitive Metropolitan Division, their journey has captivated fans and pundits alike. What makes their performance even more impressive is their prowess on the road, losing just six games in regulation. The question now lingers in the minds of all hockey fans: Can the Flyers sustain this level of play and transform their regular-season success into a deep playoff run? As the second half unfolds, all eyes will be on Philadelphia, waiting to see if they can defy expectations once again.
The Team Who Needs A Hot 2nd Half
In contrast to the Flyers, the New Jersey Devils find themselves in a predicament that defies their recent success. After a stellar 52-win season, they now sit four spots out of wild card contention. A significant factor contributing to their underwhelming performance has been the string of injuries plaguing key players. The Devils' hopes for a playoff push rest heavily on the prospect of a healthier roster in the second half. If they can overcome the injury bug and recapture the winning formula that defined their previous season, New Jersey could become a formidable force once again.
The Team That Started HOT
The Winnipeg Jets have become the shining stars of the Western Conference, exceeding all preseason expectations. Leading the conference with an impressive 62 points, they're already on pace to surpass their initial point projection of 92. What makes their ascent even more remarkable is their recent 9-1 record in the last 10 games. The question now is whether the Jets can sustain this scorching momentum and emerge as a lethal force come April. As they navigate the challenges of the second half, their performance will undoubtedly be a storyline worth closely monitoring.
They Are Still At The Top?
The past two seasons, the Boston Bruins were predicted to "be on the decline" from critics everywhere. They have continued to prove everyone wrong (in the regular season). Leading the Eastern Conference with 61 points, their 13-3-3 record at home further solidifies their position. However, a recurring theme in recent seasons has been skepticism regarding their playoff performance. As they share the best odds to win the Stanley Cup with the Avalanche, the big question mark hovering over the Bruins is whether they can translate regular-season success into postseason glory. The second half of the season will provide the answers as the Bruins seek to silence their critics once and for all.
America's Team (North)
The Arizona Coyotes, often overlooked in playoff discussions, are quietly positioning themselves as potential underdog heroes. With only one playoff appearance since 2012, the Coyotes have undergone a transformation, boasting a roster brimming with young and promising talent. Within striking distance of a coveted Wild Card spot, their fate in the second half holds the potential to rewrite the narrative. If the Coyotes can muster a strong finish to the season, they might just become the darlings of fans across the continent, adding an exhilarating twist to the playoff picture.
As all hockey fans know, anything can happen come late March. Some teams get hot and go on a run, and others get cold and fall off. It's never safe to assume you will be playing come late April until you mathematically secure that spot... Which 16 teams do you think will get the chance to fight for a playoff spot come Spring?