NHL Playoff Bracket Scenarios – Which races remain to be won?

7:25 AM ET

Tim KavanaghESPN.com

CloseTim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

As expected, Saturday’s busy schedule produced a lot of progress in the standings. The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the East Division crown, and the Toronto Maple Leafs did the same in the North Division. The Nashville Predators are now officially playoff-bound after they defeated the Carolina Hurricanes — who they’ll play once more this week, then in the first round of the playoffs.

We now know the identity of 15 out of 16 playoff teams, with the No. 4 seed in the North remaining to be settled. The Montreal Canadiens are idle on Sunday, but they hold a 10-point lead on the Calgary Flames, who’ll need a win against the Ottawa Senators Sunday (a game that will be streaming live on ESPN+) and a lot of help. The Vancouver Canucks have seven games left, so they are also technically alive in the race, but they also need a considerable amount of help to catch Montreal.

In the final days upcoming, we’ll also be keeping an eye on the seeding races in all four divisions, as well as the battle for the Presidents’ Trophy. For this season, the playoffs will be intra-divisional for the first two rounds, then the final four teams will be re-bracketed based on their regular season record; so, the final stretch of games here is still meaningful even for the teams that have clinched their division already. As of Sunday, the Vegas Golden Knights hold an edge over the Hurricanes for the overall top spot, with two extra regulation wins thus far.

Having reached the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

Jump ahead:Current playoff matchupsRace for No. 1 pick

East Divisionplay

0:35

Conor Sheary sends the Capitals past the Flyers with a goal in overtime.

Points: 77Regulation wins: 29Playoff position: E1Games left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75Regulation wins: 28Playoff position: E2Games left: 1Next game: vs. BOS (May 11)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

2 Related

Points: 71Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: E3Games left: 2Next game: vs. NYI (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 70Regulation wins: 24Playoff position: E4Games left: 1Next game: @ BOS (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 60Regulation wins: 24Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 56Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 1Next game: vs. NJ (May 10)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 45Regulation wins: 15Playoff position: N/AGames left: 1Next game: @ PHI (May 10)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 37Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Central Divisionplay

0:53

Alex Wennberg scores three goals for the hat trick as he leads the Panthers to a 5-1 win over the Lightning.

Points: 80Regulation wins: 27Playoff position: C1Games left: 1Next game: @ NSH (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 77Regulation wins: 25Playoff position: C2Games left: 1Next game: vs. TB (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

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Points: 75Regulation wins: 29Playoff position: C3Games left: 1Next game: @ FLA (May 10Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 62Regulation wins: 20Playoff position: C4Games left: 1Next game: vs. CAR (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 58Regulation wins: 17Playoff position: N/AGames left: 2Next game: @ CHI (May 9)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 52Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 2Next game: vs. DAL (May 9)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 48Regulation wins: 16Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 48Regulation wins: 12Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

North Divisionplay

0:23

Connor McDavid sets up Leon Draisaitl for a goal to give him his 100th career point.

Points: 76Regulation wins: 29Playoff position: N1Games left: 2Next game: @ OTT (May 12)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 68Regulation wins: 31Playoff position: N2Games left: 3Next game: @ MTL (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

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Points: 59Regulation wins: 22Playoff position: N3Games left: 3Next game: vs. VAN (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57Regulation wins: 20Playoff position: N4Games left: 2Next game: vs. EDM (May 10)Playoff chances: 97.9%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 49Regulation wins: 18Playoff position: N/AGames left: 2Next game: @ CGY (May 9)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 47Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: N/AGames left: 5Next game: vs. OTT (May 9)Playoff chances: 2.1%Tragic number: 1

Points: 43Regulation wins: 14Playoff position: N/AGames left: 7Next game: @ WPG (May 10)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: 1

West Divisionplay

0:54

Reilly Smith shreds the Blues for three goals as his performance lifts the Golden Knights to the 4-1 win.

Points: 80Regulation wins: 29Playoff position: W1Games left: 2Next game: vs. COL (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 76Regulation wins: 32Playoff position: W2Games left: 3Next game: @ VGS (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

2 Related

Points: 75Regulation wins: 27Playoff position: W3Games left: 2Next game: @ STL (May 12)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 57Regulation wins: 17Playoff position: W4Games left: 3Next game: @ LA (May 10)Playoff chances: 100%Tragic number: N/A

Points: 54Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 49Regulation wins: 15Playoff position: N/AGames left: 1Next game: vs. VGS (May 12)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 48Regulation wins: 19Playoff position: N/AGames left: 3Next game: vs. STL (May 10)Playoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Points: 43Regulation wins: 11Playoff position: N/AGames left: 0Next game: N/APlayoff chances: 0%Tragic number: E

Current playoff matchupsEast Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 New York IslandersNo. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 Boston Bruins

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville PredatorsNo. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal CanadiensNo. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

West Division

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 4 St. Louis BluesNo. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

• Who will be the top pick this summer? »• Early top-32 prospect rankings »• How COVID-19 will impact evaluations »

Points: 37Regulation wins: 11

Points: 43Regulation wins: 11

Points: 43Regulation wins: 14

Points: 45Regulation wins: 15

Points: 47Regulation wins: 19

Points: 48Regulation wins: 12

Points: 48Regulation wins: 16

Points: 48Regulation wins: 19

Points: 49Regulation wins: 15

Points: 49Regulation wins: 18

Points: 52Regulation wins: 14

Points: 54Regulation wins: 19

Points: 56Regulation wins: 16

Points: 58Regulation wins: 17

Points: 60Regulation wins: 24

Published: 2021-05-09 13:10:18

Tags: #NHL #Playoff #Bracket #Scenarios #races #remain #won

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