Monday, April 22, 2024

Now or never? The 2024 NHL playoff pressure rankings for all 16 teams

Welcome to the annual pressure rankings, where most years we run through all 16 playoff teams to figure out which one is under the most pressure to win it all.

I say “most years”, because last year we broke from tradition. In those 2023 rankings, we only bothered to do 15 teams, because one team was so clearly ahead of everyone else that we didn’t even need to bother. That team was the Maple Leafs, and we just left them off the list entirely, if only so everyone else would have a chance and we didn’t have to build up to an obvious reveal with zero suspense.

Should we do that again this year? I’m not sure. On the one hand, that Leafs team did finally win a round, snapping a streak of misery that had come to define the era. The positive vibes didn’t last long, but beating the Lightning did feel like a quick flip of the pressure-relief valve in Toronto, one that kept the whole thing from blowing up. On the other hand, it’s still Toronto, and with a new boss in town who might not be as patient as the previous regime, you could argue that the Leafs are under just as much pressure this year as last, and maybe more.

I’m not sure, so I’m making the call: The Leafs are back on the list. We’ll find out where.


>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment