As the NHL gets set to start the postseason this Saturday, it’s only natural that predictions articles will start popping up. Sportsnet, the NHL and others have begun to rank the teams included in this year’s unique playoff tournament and there are some surprising decisions.
NHL’s Top Five Ranking
The NHL posted their Super Sixteen and leading the way are the Presidents’ Trophy Boston Bruins. That seems fair considering how dominant a team they were in the regular season. Some will argue that St. Louis, as the defending champions should get some consideration for the top spot, but it’s hard to argue with Boston’s success.
Plus, St. Louis followed closely behind at No. 2.
Tampa Bay, Colorado and Vegas close out the top five, with the Washington Capitals just on the outside looking in.
Sportsnet’s Top-Five Rankings
Interestingly, Sportsnet has the same top-five as the NHL. Quoting that for the Bruins it’s “Cup or bust”, they point to special teams and perhaps a last-chance run before the team’s leadership group might split as reasons to call them the favorites.
The Big Differences in the Rankings
One noticeable difference between the two ranking charts is where each had the Philadelphia Flyers. The NHL ranked them fairly high at No. 8 and ahead of teams like the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars. Sportsnet had them all the way down at No. 14.
The NHL didn’t even rank the New York Rangers in the top-16, but Sportsnet had them at No. 12, noting the Rangers could be a favourite to make noise.
The NHL didn’t give a lot of love to the Winnipeg Jets and Sportsnet thought the New York Islanders were in a lot worse shape than the NHL did.
What Do You Think?
Consider this is only a look at two lists and there will be plenty of them, where would you rank the teams involved in this year’s postseason?
These playoffs could be wide open and many insiders are saying it’s almost impossible to predict what will happen with such a long layoff and so many of the typical playoff factors removed from the equation.
One thing is for certain… it should be entertaining with so much unpredictability.
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