Welcome to another edition of the Hockeybuzz hotstove.
In this one we’ll be predicting which team currently on the outside of the playoff picture will end up making the playoffs. Todd Cordell: Florida Panthers
As much as I want to say Columbus, they haven’t been playing all that greatly even though the wins have been piling up, so I’m going to go with the Fancy Cats.
Roberto Luongo has been a rock for the Panthers while Brian Campbell and Aaron Ekblad have been one of the better defense pairings in hockey this year.
The team’s only weakness is scoring, and they seem to be picking it up of late. Nick Bjugstad has been great and Jonathan Huberdeau has 20 points in his last 25 games. If Florida’s offense is even average the rest of the way they’ll make the playoffs. Tim Chiasson: Dallas Stars
They’ve picked up their play after a slow start to the season and Tyler Seguin has been an animal offensively all year.
The Stars possession has been significantly better in the second half of the season – 52.2CF% from 49.7% – as well and with consistent goaltending the Stars could find themselves in the playoffs.
There are teams currently in a playoff position in the West that are ripe for the picking – including San Jose and Winnipeg – if they can’t put together more consistent play. Matt Henderson: Florida Panthers
I’m going with the Panthers. They cant score for the life of them (much like my Oilers) but they have 4 games in hand on the Bruins and they have elite goaltending and stellar underlying numbers. If they add some scoring depth at the deadline or just start getting bounces on the PP then they should find themselves in that Wild Card spot. James Tanner: Dallas Stars
I think the Dallas Stars will end up in the Playoffs. They have a great offense and I believe that a very underrated goalie. Their defense isn’t great but I still think they’re a better team than either Vancouver or Winnipeg, so they’ll make it.
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