It’s been a long tiring 82 game regular season for the 16 teams who are playoff bound. One team will have a 16 game winning streak and bring home the coveted Stanley Cup.
Let’s take a peek at the teams, shall we?
In the Eastern Conference the following teams are nearly surely to be playoff bound:
Pittsburgh Penguins - The perpetually popular Penguins (say that 3 times fast!) had a bit of a rought start with the losses of top forwards Evgeni Malkin and youngin’ Sidney Crosby, but remained in the top three seed. They’re scrappy.
Washington Capitals – Their skill at keeping the goal tended is awesome.
Philadelphia Flyers – The Flyers are powerhouses on the ice due to their impenetrable offense and quick defense and stellar special teams. They are a force to be reckoned with.
Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightening’s offense this year has been rock solid and led by Martin St. Louis and emerging titan of the ice, Steven Stamkos
Boston Bruins – Boston is quite the little sports town this year with the Celtics being playoff bound, the Red Sox reigning at the top of the MLB world and now the Bruins. After losing Marc Savard due to multiple concussions, they have become dependent on likely Vezina Tropy Winner Tim Thomas (goalie). Their defense is what makes this team formidable.
On the Western Conference, the following teams look likely to head to the playoffs:
Detroit Redwings – Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstron and Daniel Cleary have aided this season team through tough injuries on the core of the team. The Goal is to get Pavel Datrsyuk back to 100% health before the playoff season starts.
Vancouver Canucks – Come on, they’re Canadian! Hockey is in their blood! The Canucks have been reigning supreme this entire season. They also have powerful twins playing, Daniel and Henrick Sedin. It is highly likely that Daniel will lead the NHL in points for the2010-11 season while his brother will take the title for most assists in the league. Their parents must be so proud!
San Jose Sharks – Two words. “Anti” and “Niemi”. Goalie of the century. Well, maybe not, but he’s pretty amazing. The Sharks have the 7th highest goals scored in the NHL thanks to Joe Thornton.
Phoenix Coyotes – The Coyotes? Who would have thought? Goalie Illya Bryzgalov is the glue of this team and Shane Doan is the rock. Doan has logged more the 1100 for the team.
Los Angeles Kings – The Postseason looks a little scary for the Kings since power forward Anze Kopitar broke his ankle against the Avalanche recently and will sit out the entire postseason. Ouch. Hopefully Jonathan Quick can fill Kiopitar’s shoes quickly.
Noticeably absent from these lists are the Chicago Blackhawks who are defending their Stanley Cup Championship from last year. Perhaps the owners shouldn’t have traded away nearly all of the winning team what seems like minutes after they won? Thank goodness top-tier offense in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are still kicking around, but this team is vastly different from the winning team last year.
Time will tell which of these teams takes home the cup!
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