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Stanley Cup Playoffs Preview

The 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be arriving in a few short weeks, guaranteed to bring action and unexpected storylines this coming spring. As for who is in, the race for a playoff spot is at an all time high, with almost half of the league battling to clinch a spot in their respective conference. Both the Western and the Eastern Conference teams are displaying true fight, as the seeding is incredibly close in both divisions. Each conference has its contenders and dark horses, with only the best teams who want it more making the playoffs this year.

Courtesy of News Barn Online

Western Conference

Every year, the Western Conference remains the strongest conference out of the two. They have the most stacked teams, and the best competition that fans can watch every night. As for cup favorites, the Vegas Golden Knights, Colorado Avalanche, and Edmonton Oilers remain the top three teams to come out of the west this year. The Oilers are looking to go on a deep run, while the Colorado Avalanche are determined to make it back to the cup final since 2022. All eyes are going to be on the Vegas Golden Knights, as they look to defend their cup title.

The Vancouver Canucks are back in the playoffs since 2020, looking to go on a deep run of their own. Along with the Canucks, the Dallas Stars are back in the playoffs, and looking to do significant damage since their run to the finals back in 2020. 

The Winnipeg Jets, along with the Nashville Predators are two teams that lay on the cusp of the playoffs, with both teams likely securing a playoff spot at the end of the season. Both teams may not be powerhouse teams like the Oilers or Avalanche, but both have talent to make a significant run in the playoffs and surprise the league.

Courtesy of Abbie Parr/AP Media

Eastern Conference

Different from the West, the East has its clear contenders, and its clear pretenders. Coming out of the East, the Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, and the Florida Panthers are all the best of the best this season. Florida is looking to avenge its Stanley Cup loss from last year, while the Rangers and Bruins are looking to be a real threat in the playoffs.

Aside from the clear contenders, the East also offers great competition outside of that. The Toronto Maple Leafs are always predicted to go far, but often lose in the first round. This year, they hope to finally break the streak with all of the great talent that they have. The Tampa Bay Lightning are always in the mix as well, looking to pose a real threat in the playoffs once again this year.

New to the scene this year will likely be the Philadelphia Flyers, who are poised to be back in the playoffs since 2020, looking to make some noise with John Tortorella leading the way as head coach.

Each conference has its best and worst teams, with the talent in both leagues being at a seemingly all-time high right now. The room for new storylines is big, with the teams making the playoffs sure to provide high entertainment. The playoffs are sure to provide high action, en route to the Stanley Cup Finals where the best two teams will face each other for the honors of winning Lord Stanley.

Courtesy of Mark J. Terrill/ AP Media

Edited by: Jessi Dworkin

Social Media Content Created by: Audrey Pearsall

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