Categories
NHL

NHL playoff bracket update – Leon Draisaitl’s wild night gives Edmonton Oilers a cushion

Throughout the season, a great debate has raged as to whether Leon Draisaitl or Connor McDavid is a more worthy Hart Trophy candidate. Draisaitl gave his supporters more fuel during Monday’s 8-3 win over the Nashville Predators, with four goals and one assist. The victory pads the Edmonton Oilers’ cushion in the No. 2 seed in the Pacific Division race, with their overall playoff chances up to 93.2%, per Money Puck.

Here’s where things stand throughout the league heading into Monday’s 10-game slate, including St. Louis Blues-New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs-San Jose Sharks streaming live on ESPN+.

Note: Playoff chances are courtesy of Money Puck, while tragic numbers are per the NHL’s Damian Echevarrieta.

Jump to:
Eastern standings | Western standings
Race for No. 1 pick | Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: Atlantic 1
Games left: 16 (7 home, 9 away)
Next game: March 3: @ TB
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: Atlantic 2
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. BOS
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: Atlantic 3
Games left: 16 (8 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: @ SJ
Playoff chances: 90.0%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: Metro 1
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 4: vs. PHI
Playoff chances: 99.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: Metro 2
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 4: @ WSH
Playoff chances: 99.0%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: Metro 3
Games left: 18 (9 home, 9 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. OTT
Playoff chances: 81.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: Wild card 1
Games left: 18 (8 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. MTL
Playoff chances: 70.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: Wild card 2
Games left: 15 (5 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 4: @ CGY
Playoff chances: 38.8%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 18 (8 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 5: @ PHI
Playoff chances: 69.3%
Tragic number: 34

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (8 home, 9 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. STL
Playoff chances: 29.8%
Tragic number: 31

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16 (8 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 5: vs. BOS
Playoff chances: 17.2%
Tragic number: 28

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15 (5 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 3: @ NYI
Playoff chances: 3.2%
Tragic number: 22

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (8 home, 9 away)
Next game: March 3: @ WPG
Playoff chances: 0.4%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: @ VGS
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 21

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 17
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16 (5 home, 11 away)
Next game: March 3: @ PIT
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 13

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14 (7 home, 7 away)
Next game: March 6: vs. CHI
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: Eliminated

Western Conference

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: Central 1
Games left: 16 (7 home, 9 away)
Next game: March 3: @ NYR
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: Central 2
Games left: 17 (10 home, 7 away)
Next game: March 4: vs. ANA
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: Central 3
Games left: 17 (10 home, 7 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. EDM
Playoff chances: 99.0%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 80
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: Pacific 1
Games left: 15 (5 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. NJ
Playoff chances: 98.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 30
Playoff position: Pacific 2
Games left: 16 (10 home, 6 away)
Next game: March 5: @ CHI
Playoff chances: 93.2%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: Pacific 3
Games left: 15 (11 home, 4 away)
Next game: March 4: vs. CBJ
Playoff chances: 79.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: Wild card 1
Games left: 17 (10 home, 7 away)
Next game: March 4: vs. ARI
Playoff chances: 61.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: Wild card 2
Games left: 17 (7 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 5: vs. DAL
Playoff chances: 41.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15 (7 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. BUF
Playoff chances: 20.3%
Tragic number: 31

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15 (8 home, 7 away)
Next game: March 4: @ VAN
Playoff chances: 34.3%
Tragic number: 31

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (7 home, 10 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. NSH
Playoff chances: 62.0%
Tragic number: 34

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (11 home, 6 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. ANA
Playoff chances: 11.0%
Tragic number: 29

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: vs. TOR
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 17 (9 home, 8 away)
Next game: March 3: @ CHI
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 23

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16 (11 home, 5 away)
Next game: March 5: vs. TOR
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 17

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. However, whoever does win the draft lottery has a chance to select Alexis Lafreniere.

Find out more about Lafreniere here, read up on the rest of the top draft prospects here, and check out all of our 2020 NHL draft coverage.

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 12
Chance of No. 1 pick: 18.5%

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 18
Chance of No. 1 pick: 13.5%

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 17
Chance of No. 1 pick: 11.5%

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 18
Chance of No. 1 pick: 9.5%

Note: Pick belongs to Ottawa

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 21
Chance of No. 1 pick: 8.5%

Points: 64
Regulation wins: 20
Chance of No. 1 pick: 7.5%

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 20
Chance of No. 1 pick: 6.5%

Points: 66
Regulation wins: 22
Chance of No. 1 pick: 6%

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 18
Chance of No. 1 pick: 5%

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28
Chance of No. 1 pick: 3.5%

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 25
Chance of No. 1 pick: 3%

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 26
Chance of No. 1 pick: 2.5%

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 28
Chance of No. 1 pick: 2%

Points: 74
Regulation wins: 30
Chance of No. 1 pick: 1.5%

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 25
Chance of No. 1 pick: 1%

Current playoff matchups

(A1) Bruins vs. (WC2) Blue Jackets
(A2) Lightning vs. (A3) Maple Leafs
(M1) Capitals vs. (WC1) Islanders
(M2) Flyers vs. (M3) Penguins
(P1) Golden Knights vs. (WC1) Canucks
(P2) Oilers vs. (P3) Flames
(C1) Blues vs. (WC2) Predators
(C2) Avalanche vs. (C3) Stars

Sports report

Categories
NHL

Oilers’ Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking opponent

Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian was suspended for seven games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Friday, after kicking Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak with his skate blade in Thursday night’s loss.

Kassian is a repeat offender, having been suspended two games on Jan. 13 after a one-sided fight with Calgary Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and based on his average annual salary, Kassian will forfeit $166,463.43. This is Kassian’s fourth suspension in a 518-game career.

The Oilers forward was invited to have an in-person hearing with the NHL but opted for a hearing over the phone. Since the suspension is longer than five games, Kassian, 29, is eligible to appeal it to commissioner Gary Bettman and, potentially, a neutral arbitrator.

The incident happened at 17 minutes, 38 seconds of the first period Thursday, when Kassian was caught up on a pile of players that included teammate Josh Archibald and Cernak. He drew his right leg back and, with his skate blade, delivered a kick to the chest of the Lightning defenseman.

The NHL said Kassian admitted to using the blade of his skate to push off from an opponent, and the league “acknowledged Kassian’s argument that he was trying to disentangle from a pile of players.” But it said that explanation “in no way justifies this action.”

The Oilers argued that the kick was “not forceful.” The Department of Player Safety has used the force of a hit as a factor in previous punishments. But when it came to Kassian, the NHL emphasized that “using a skate blade to make intentional or reckless contact with an opponent, regardless of the purpose, is entirely different” from the checking and stick fouls the league typically penalizes.

“While we agree with Kassian that this play is not malicious, any player that intentionally uses the blade of his skate to contact an opponent, no matter the amount of force used, is putting his opponent in immediate risk of serious injury,” the NHL said in its ruling.

There have been other kicking incidents in the NHL.

In 2008, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Chris Pronger was suspended eight games for stomping on the leg of Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler. But an incident more comparable to the Kassian ruling would be Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner’s two-game suspension in 2012 for using his skate to separate himself from St. Louis Blues forward Scott Nichol. The fact that Kassian was a repeat offender likely multiplied the level of punishment.

Sports report