Playoff standings: Projecting the Penguins' path to the postseason


After the trade that brought reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins, hope sprang eternal in Western Pennsylvania regarding the team; the betting markets weren’t quite as bullish, but +2500 odds in the preseason for the Penguins to win the Cup would infer that the club would at least be in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, things haven’t gone so well, and after the tough decision was made to trade Jake Guentzel ahead of the deadline, those hopes are fading.

Heading into Friday night’s matchup at the Dallas Stars (8 p.m. ET, NHL Power Play on ESPN+), the Penguins’ playoff chances are 2.4%, per Stathletes.

The Penguins have 14 games remaining, and their max number of standings points at season’s end is 97. The Philadelphia Flyers are in third in the Metro Division and are projected to finish with 91.4 points; the teams in the mix for the second wild-card spot also seem to be within range, including the Washington Capitals (projected for 89.6 points), New York Islanders (88.3), Detroit Red Wings (87.6) and New Jersey Devils (85.8).

Then again, to earn all 28 of those remaining points, Pittsburgh will have to win out. While it has two games upcoming against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the rest of the Penguins’ schedule is full of teams that are close to playoff locks (the Stars, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators) or vying for those very same Eastern playoff positions (Devils, Capitals, Red Wings, Islanders).

It’s not an impossible task. But the Penguins will certainly need to go on a heater — and get some help from those other teams still in the mix for those playoff spots.

As we traverse the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2024 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Stathletes.

Jump ahead:
Current playoff matchups
Friday’s schedule
Thursday night’s scores
Expanded standings
Race for No. 1 pick

greyline

Current playoff matchups

Eastern Conference

A1 Boston Bruins vs. WC2 Detroit Red Wings
A2 Florida Panthers vs. A3 Toronto Maple Leafs
M1 New York Rangers vs. WC1 Tampa Bay Lightning
M2 Carolina Hurricanes vs. M3 Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference

C1 Winnipeg Jets vs. WC1 Nashville Predators
C2 Colorado Avalanche vs. C3 Dallas Stars
P1 Vancouver Canucks vs. WC2 Vegas Golden Knights
P2 Edmonton Oilers vs. P3 Los Angeles Kings


Friday’s games

Note: All times ET. All games not on TNT or NHL Network are available via NHL Power Play, which is included in an ESPN+ subscription (local blackout restrictions apply).

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. (NHLN)
Pittsburgh Penguins at Dallas Stars, 8 p.m.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Colorado Avalanche, 9 p.m.
Seattle Kraken at Arizona Coyotes, 10 p.m.


Thursday’s scoreboard

New York Rangers 5, Boston Bruins 2
St. Louis Blues 5, Ottawa Senators 2
Detroit Red Wings 6, New York Islanders 3
New Jersey Devils 4, Winnipeg Jets 1
Carolina Hurricanes 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (OT)
Nashville Predators 3, Florida Panthers 0
Edmonton Oilers 8, Buffalo Sabres 3
Vancouver Canucks 4, Montreal Canadiens 1
Anaheim Ducks 4, Chicago Blackhawks 0
Vegas Golden Knights 3, Seattle Kraken 1
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, San Jose Sharks 1


Expanded standings

Atlantic Division

bos

Points: 97
Regulation wins: 32
Playoff position: A1
Games left: 11
Points pace: 112
Next game: @ PHI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

fla

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: A2
Games left: 13
Points pace: 112
Next game: @ NYR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

tor

Points: 87
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: A3
Games left: 14
Points pace: 105
Next game: vs. EDM (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

tb

Points: 82
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 13
Points pace: 98
Next game: @ LA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 98.9%
Tragic number: N/A

det

Points: 78
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 12
Points pace: 91
Next game: @ NSH (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 28.8%
Tragic number: N/A

buf

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 11
Points pace: 82
Next game: @ CGY (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 5.4%
Tragic number: 15

mtl

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 74
Next game: @ SEA (Sunday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10

ott

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 72
Next game: @ NJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 10


Metropolitan Division

nyr

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: M1
Games left: 12
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. FLA (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

car

Points: 94
Regulation wins: 36
Playoff position: M2
Games left: 12
Points pace: 110
Next game: @ WSH (Friday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

phi

Points: 79
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: M3
Games left: 12
Points pace: 93
Next game: vs. BOS (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 72.3%
Tragic number: N/A

wsh

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 90
Next game: vs. CAR (Friday)
Playoff chances: 48.4%
Tragic number: 25

nyi

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 21
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 87
Next game: vs. WPG (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 29.9%
Tragic number: 21

nj

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 84
Next game: vs. OTT (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 14.0%
Tragic number: 18

pit

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 83
Next game: @ DAL (Friday)
Playoff chances: 2.4%
Tragic number: 19

cbj

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 69
Next game: @ COL (Friday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 6


Central Division

wpg

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 39
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 13
Points pace: 111
Next game: @ NYI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

col

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 37
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 13
Points pace: 111
Next game: s. CBJ (Friday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

dal

Points: 93
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 12
Points pace: 109
Next game: vs. PIT (Friday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

nsh

Points: 86
Regulation wins: 34
Playoff position: WC1
Games left: 12
Points pace: 101
Next game: vs. DET (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 98.5%
Tragic number: N/A

stl

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 90
Next game: @ MIN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 3.8%
Tragic number: 20

min

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 27
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 89
Next game: vs. STL (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 13.1%
Tragic number: 19

ari

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 73
Next game: vs. SEA (Friday)
Playoff chances: ~0%
Tragic number: 6

chi

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 50
Next game: @ SJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E


Pacific Division

van

Points: 96
Regulation wins: 38
Playoff position: P1
Games left: 12
Points pace: 113
Next game: vs. CGY (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

edm

Points: 88
Regulation wins: 33
Playoff position: P2
Games left: 15
Points pace: 108
Next game: @ TOR (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

la

Points: 83
Regulation wins: 31
Playoff position: P3
Games left: 13
Points pace: 99
Next game: vs. TB (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 96.7%
Tragic number: N/A

vgk

Points: 81
Regulation wins: 29
Playoff position: WC2
Games left: 13
Points pace: 96
Next game: vs. CBJ (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 83.6%
Tragic number: N/A

cgy

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 86
Next game: @ VAN (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 3.8%
Tragic number: 18

sea

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 14
Points pace: 82
Next game: @ ARI (Friday)
Playoff chances: 0.5%
Tragic number: 15

ana

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 18
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Points pace: 60
Next game: vs. TB (Sunday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

sj

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Points pace: 46
Next game: vs. CHI (Saturday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: E

p — clinched Presidents’ Trophy
y — clinched division
x — clinched playoff berth
e — eliminated from playoff contention


Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. As of 2021, a team can move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here. Sitting No. 1 on the draft board for this summer is Macklin Celebrini, a freshman at Boston University.

sj

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 12

chi

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 14

ana

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 18

cbj

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 18

ott

Points: 60
Regulation wins: 19

ari

Points: 61
Regulation wins: 23

mtl

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 15

sea

Points: 68
Regulation wins: 22

pit

Points: 69
Regulation wins: 25

buf

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 27

cgy

Points: 71
Regulation wins: 28

nj

Points: 72
Regulation wins: 29

nyi

Points: 73
Regulation wins: 21

wsh

Points: 75
Regulation wins: 27

min

Points: 76
Regulation wins: 27

stl

Points: 77
Regulation wins: 28

* The Penguins’ first-round pick was traded to the Sharks as part of the Erik Karlsson trade. However, it is top-10 protected.



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