Monday, March 20, 2023

Weekend rankings: Which playoff bubble team is under the most pressure?

We’re exactly four weeks away from the playoffs, and as always at this time of year there are four groups of teams: Those that have had a spot locked up for weeks or months, those that have been out of the race forever, those that are right on the bubble, and those that still think they’re in the race but probably aren’t.

That last group, sadly, includes a few of this year’s teams that have been the most fun to watch. That includes our beloved Sabres, as well as the perpetually not-quite-pesky-enough Senators, plus the Wings and Capitals. Each of those teams could still make a run, but would need an enormous hot streak to pull it off. Even that might not be enough.

So with apologies to those teams, let’s focus on the six teams that were sitting between 10% and 90% playoff odds based on Dom’s projections (as of Sunday). These are our bubble teams, and they’re fighting for four spots. They all want to make it, obviously, but some are under more pressure than others. But who? Let’s break it down, from the least pressure to the most.

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