The NHL Playoff Picture: Who Will Make It and Where Should Your Money Be?

Posted by Ari in Frozen Assets on April 2, 2009 — 2 Comments

EASTERN CONFERENCE

In the Eastern Conference, Boston, New Jersey and Washington have clinched playoff spots. Carolina, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh will make the playoffs barring a 2007 New York Mets style collapse. That leaves Montreal, New York, and Florida to battle for the final two playoff spots.

Montreal Canadiens (40-27-10, 90 pts, 7th in East)

Best odds to win Cup: +3700

Remaining Schedule: @ Tor, Ott, @ NYR, @ Bos, Pit

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 85%

Ari’s Take: Montreal has struggled for most of the second half of the season but a 4-0-1 stretch has the Habs ready for the post-season. 2-3-0 should be good enough as long as they beat the Rangers. The Habs need to take care of business against the Sens and Leafs before closing out the season against stronger opponents.

New York Rangers (40-29-9, 89 pts, 8th in East)

Best odds to win Cup: +4000

Remaining Schedule: @ Bos, Mtl, Phi, @ Phi

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 70%

Ari’s Take: New York has four games left, all against teams ahead of them in the standings. Two wins will probably be good enough, but the Rangers will have to win at least three to put pressure on the Panthers.

Florida Panthers (38-28-11, 87 pts, 9th in East)

Best odds to win Cup: +8000

Remaining Schedule: Atl, Pit, @ Phi, @ Atl, Was

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 60%

Ari’s Take: Cranderson has resurrected the Panthers’ dim playoff hopes. The Panthers will probably need at least seven points over their last five games to have a realistic shot at the post-season. If the Panthers can beat the Thrashers tomorrow, they may be worth a look at +8000.

*Car, Phi, and Pit are each assumed to have a 95% chance of making the playoffs. Percentages are my opinion and should not be considered accurate.

WESTERN CONFERENCE

In the Western Conference, San Jose, Detroit and Calgary have clinched spots, while Vancouver and Chicago will be in before the end of the week. Columbus will make the playoffs barring a major collapse. That leaves Anaheim, St. Louis, Nashville, Minnesota and Edmonton to battle for the final two playoff spots.

Anaheim Ducks (40-32-6, 86 pts, 7th in West)

Best odds to win Cup: +5000

Remaining Schedule: @ SJ, SJ, Dal, Phx

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 75%

Ari’s Take: Anaheim is a team no one wants to face in the playoffs, but will they get there? Anaheim must find a way to beat San Jose at least once to have a chance. If the Ducks can survive their home and home with the Sharks, +5000 may be good value.

St. Louis Blues (38-31-9, 85 pts, 8th in West)

Best odds to win Cup: +15000

Remaining Schedule: @ Dal, @ Phx, Clb, @ Col

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 60%

Ari’s Take: The Blues improved their chances considerably with a win over Detroit. St. Louis has one of the easier schedules to close out the season and are playing their best hockey of the season. Odds of +15000 are worthwhile on any team in a playoff position with one and a half weeks left in the season.

Nashville Predators (38-31-8, 84 pts, 9th in West)

Best odds to win Cup: +6600

Remaining Schedule: @ Chi, Clb, Chi, @ Det, @ Min

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 50%

Ari’s Take: Nashville does not have an easy schedule, but they still control their own destiny. Led by rookie goaltender Pekka Rinne, the Preds have lost once in regulation in their last nine games. Seven points in their last five games should be enough for the Preds to sneak into the playoffs.

Minnesota Wild (36-32-9, 81 pts, 10th in West)

Best odds to win Cup: +6600

Remaining Schedule: Cgy, @ Det, Dal, Nas, @ Clb

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 15%

Ari’s Take: The Wild will need to get at least eight points in their last four games to make the playoffs, and will have beat at least one very good team to do so. They are fortunate to play a Flames team playing their second road game in two nights, but will probably need to beat the Red Wings in Detroit to give themselves a chance.

Edmonton Oilers (36-33-9, 81 pts, 11th in West)

Best odds to win Cup: +6600

Remaining Schedule: Van, LA, Cgy, @ Cgy

Likelihood of Making Playoffs*: 5%

Ari’s Take: Edmonton has no margin for error, needing to win the remainder of their games to have a chance to make the playoffs. Edmonton’s loss to Anahiem earlier this week basically ended their playoff hopes.

*For these calculations, Clb is assumed to have a 95% chance to make the playoffs. Percentages are my opinion and should not be considered accurate.

  • Bob Roberts

    Take the Rangers instead of the Habs to make the playoffs. Tort’s got the Blueshirts rolling, though Lundqvist still looks shaky to me. The Habs? Well, I just don’t trust them to show up. One minute they ALL look shaky, the next they all look like world-beaters. Too iffy for my $.

    Take the Blues and the Ducks to make the playoffs. “Here we go Blues, here we go!”. Niedermayer (5 pts/2 on PP last 2 games)has decided to play this season after all. Tell Burkey. Oh and some guys named Getzlaf, Ryan, Selanne and Perry are on that team too I hear.

  • http://www.illegalcurve.com Ari

    As far as making the playoffs, the Rangers have a much tougher schedule. At least the Rangers play the Habs in New York. If they lose that game, they’re probably done. I’m not sure 2-2-0 is good enough to fight off the Panthers.