NHL standings: Seeding scenarios, breakdown for final spots in 2020 playoffs

The 2020 NHL playoff picture is coming into focus, with the contenders increasingly separating themselves from the pretenders with every passing week.

While there are still a month’s worth of regular season games to be played, it’s never too early to turn our gaze to the playoff races as they continue to heat up.

Here’s how the 2020 Stanley Cup playoff bracket looks today.

Last updated: 3:48 p.m. ET on March 5. 

All probabilities from Sports Club Stats, all GIFS from giphy.com.

POWER RANKINGS: Flyers, Leafs, Canucks see postseason in playoff prediction edition

NHL standings: Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Boston Bruins (96 points, 42 ROW)

Remaining games: 15
Home record: 22-3-9
Playoff probability: 100%

The Bruins have lost just twice in their past 10 games and are the only Eastern Conference team over 90 points.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (87 points, 39 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 21-10-2
Playoff probability: 100%

Tampa Bay has been decidedly mediocre lately, and the loss of Steven Stamkos will not help matters.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (78 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 15
Home record: 17-9-7
Playoff probability: 87.5%

Everyone’s waiting for the Leafs to turn things around, and they seem to consistently be on the cusp of becoming an elite team if not for their battered defense.

Metropolitan Division

1. Washington Capitals (86 points, 36 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 18-10-5
Playoff probability: 99.8%

The Capitals are once again leading their division, although the Pennsylvania teams are hot on their tails.

2. Philadelphia Flyers (85 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 23-5-4
Playoff probability: 99.6%

The surging Flyers are the hottest team in the East, with seven straight victories boosting them ahead of their state rival.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (82 points, 35 ROW)

Remaining games: 17
Home record: 23-6-4
Playoff probability: 97.5%

Pittsburgh has hit a rut that has seen the team drop off slightly in the chase for the Metro title.

Wild cards

1. Columbus Blue Jackets (79 points, 32 ROW)

Remaining games: 14
Home record: 20-12-4
Playoff probability: 31.1%

The Blue Jackets’ grasp on this spot is very tenuous, given they’ve played more games than all of their wild card rivals.

2. New York Islanders (78 points, 32 ROW)

Remaining games: 17
Home record: 20-9-5
Playoff probability: 73.4%

A terrible stretch of games has seen the Isles fall behind in the Metropolitan Division.


3. Carolina Hurricanes (75 points, 30 ROW)

Remaining games: 18
Home record: 19-12-2
Playoff probability: 65.1%

The ‘Canes are currently on the outside looking in, but with four(!) games in hand over Columbus, they are actually in a pretty good spot.

4. New York Rangers (74 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 17-15-2
Playoff probability: 22.4%

Chris Kreider’s injury probably snuffed out the already slim chance the Rangers had of making the postseason.

5. Florida Panthers (73 points, 30 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 16-14-3
Playoff probability: 22.2%

The Panthers simply give up too many goals to be considered a serious playoff contender and — unlike the Leafs — they cannot simply score their way out of trouble.

6. Montreal Canadiens (71 points, 27 ROW)

Remaining games: 14
Home record: 14-16-6
Playoff probability: 1.7%

Stick a fork in ’em. The Habs’ playoff dream died in January.

7. Buffalo Sabres (66 points, 28 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 19-10-4
Playoff probability: 0.2%

NHL standings: Western Conference

Central Division

1. St. Louis Blues (90 points, 38 ROW)

Remaining games: 15
Home record: 23-6-5
Playoff probability: 100%

The Blues find themselves in a much more comfortable spot than last year. Winning eight straight games helps.

2. Colorado Avalanche (88 points, 39 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record:  17-9-6
Playoff probability: 100% 

Call them the road warriors, because the Avs are vastly better away from Denver (and they’re pretty good at the Pepsi Center).

3. Dallas Stars (82 points, 35 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record:  19-10-3
Playoff probability: 99.7%

The Stars’ awful start to the campaign is a distant memory.

Pacific Division

1. Vegas Golden Knights (82 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 14 
Home record: 22-11-4
Playoff probability: 97.1%

The Pacific Division is completely up for grabs, but Vegas has the edge thanks to nine wins in its last 10 games.

2. Edmonton Oilers (80 points, 34 ROW)

Remaining games: 15
Home record: 16-10-5
Playoff probability: 97.7%

Two points out of first with a game in hand. The Oilers are in prime position for a good run.

3. Calgary Flames (77 points, 29 ROW)

Remaining games: 14
Home record: 15-12-4
Playoff probability: 68.7%

The Flames will likely spend the rest of the season trying to hold off Vancouver and Arizona.

Wild cards

1. Vancouver Canucks (74 points, 31 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record:  20-8-4
Playoff probability: 70%

The Canucks hold a pair of games in hand on Calgary, but their current form (four straight losses) doesn’t suggest that they’ll take advantage of it.

2. Winnipeg Jets (74 points, 31 ROW)

Remaining games: 14
Home record: 18-14-3
Playoff probability: 31.8%

Winnipeg will have to get hot and stay hot in order to hold on to this spot.


3. Arizona Coyotes (74 points, 28 ROW)

Remaining games: 14
Home record: 17-12-4
Playoff probability: 42.2%

Two straight wins (and Vancouver’s recent slide) have thrust the Coyotes into a three-way tie for the two wild-card spots.

4. Minnesota Wild (73 points, 31 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 19-11-5
Playoff probability: 53%

The Wild have played two fewer games than the two teams directly ahead of them, boosting their probability of making the playoffs.

5. Nashville Predators (72 points, 29 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 16-14-4
Playoff probability: 24.9%

An outside shot is still a shot. The Preds aren’t that far behind, truth be told.

6. Chicago Blackhawks (68 points, 26 ROW)

Remaining games: 16
Home record: 14-13-4
Playoff probability: 9.8%

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