Monday, April 17, 2023

Weekend rankings: A season-ending Top 16, plus Gold Plan standings and more

We made it. After 82 games and 26 weeks’ worth of rankings, we’ve hit the only part of the NHL season that actually matters. The playoffs are here. Half the league is already miserable, and now we find out which 15 of the remaining 16 teams get to join them.

But first, one last weekend ranking. This one comes with a few twists, and we’ll get to those in a minute. It also comes with one last bonus top five, in which I’ll make a few extra predictions, just to make sure my playoff picks are extra wrong.

Top five overly specific bonus predictions

5. The Kings shut out the Oilers in Game 1 – One of those fun playoff tropes is the heavy favorite that everyone loves who lays an egg in the opener, leading to waves of panic and over-analysis. It almost feels too obvious to pick the Hurricanes for that spot given the Ilya Sorokin factor, so let’s go with Edmonton.

4. We’re getting triple-overtime in the Kraken/Avs series – Nobody seems to think the Kraken can win, but that doesn’t mean they won’t make it interesting.

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