Western Conference Playoff Bubble Teams

St Louis Blues

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:14 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2017 2:14 PM GMT

Our NHL analysts discuss 2 specific Western Conference teams whose playoff status is uncertain. Does each of these teams provide a betting edge in terms of future NHL picks? Go inside to find out what our expert has to say on that precise topic.

Western Conference Wild Card Race

Last week I wrote an article about NHL Eastern Conference teams on the proverbial playoff bubble. At the time of that writing (3/16), a list of those Eastern Conference clubs was a quite extensive one. That’s certainly not the case in the West. Barring something unforeseen, it’s either going to be St. Louis or Los Angeles residing in the final Western Conference Wild Card spot.

I would highly advise keeping an eye on each team down the remaining stretch of regular season action. Furthermore, keep this in mind going forward. St. Louis and Los Angeles are already entrenched in playoff mode from here on out. Each team will possess intangibles such as urgency and desperation, and thus providing them with an additional edge. Those factors should be seriously considered when contemplating making your NHL picks.

 

Western Conference Wild Card Standings

Abbreviations

W=wins

L=losses

GP=games played

OTL=overtime losses

PTS=points

Note: The top 2 teams in the Wild Card standings will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hypothetically, if the regular season would’ve ended yesterday, it would be Calgary and St. Louis qualifying as Western Conference wild card teams. Nevertheless, NHL teams play 82 regular season games, and there’s still some hockey left to be played before the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs commence. All team standings listed below reflect games played through Monday 3/20.

 

Teams

GP

W

L

OTL

PTS

Calgary

72

41

27

4

86

St. Louis

71

38

28

5

81

Los Angeles

72

34

31

7

75

Winnipeg

72

32

33

7

71

Dallas

72

29

33

10

68

Vancouver

71

28

34

9

65

Arizona

72

26

37

9

61

Colorado

71

20

48

3

43

 St. Louis Blues

St. Louis controls their own destiny in regards its playoff chances. They hold a somewhat commanding 6-point lead over Los Angles for that final playoff position in the West. Additionally, St. Louis has 1-game in hand on Los Angeles, and their remaining schedule should be easy to handle. St. Louis will face the bottom three teams (Colorado, Arizona, Vancouver) in the Western Conference Standings in 7 of those remaining 11 games. Three more additional games are against Florida, Carolina, and Winnipeg. Unless something drastic occurs over the next couple of weeks, none of those previously 3 teams will be playing playoff hockey. In a nutshell, and pertaining to NHL betting odds, St. Louis is likely to be a money line favorite in 10 of their final 11 games. It would be hard to imagine St. Louis being caught by Los Angeles at this juncture.

 Los Angeles Kings

Despite making upgrades to their roster at the trade deadline, Los Angles hasn’t been able to make any serious headway in regards to their playoff chances. If anything, they’ve gone in reverse. During their last 10-games alone, Los Angeles went just 4-4-2 while St. Louis went 7-3 over its previous 10. The balance of the Kings regular season schedule will be no picnic. Half of those games come against teams that will be in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. On a positive note, 6 of those 10 will come on home ice. Realistically, Los Angeles needs to earn 17 of a possible 20 points to have a truthful chance. Even if Los Angeles attained that type of point production, they’ll require a lot of help from some lousy teams when playing against St. Louis.

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