The NHL playoffs are in full swing and there are only a few teams left vying for the Stanley Cup. Who are the frontrunners and which teams are still in the running?
There are four teams left in the Eastern Conference of the NHL playoffs. The first team is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions. The second team is the Boston Bruins, who are looking to return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2011. The third team is the Carolina Hurricanes, who are looking to make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 2002. The fourth and final team is the New York Islanders, who are looking to make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1993.
As of the 2019-2020 NHL season, the Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Bruins have been in existence since 1924, making them the oldest active hockey team in the United States and one of the Original Six teams of the NHL.
The Bruins have won six Stanley Cup championships, tied for fourth most of any team in the NHL. They are one of the NHL’s Original Six teams, along with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins have played their home games at TD Garden since 1995.
The Carolina Hurricanes are a professional ice hockey team based in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Hurricanes play their home games at the 18,680-seat PNC Arena. The franchise was formed in 1971 as the New England Whalers, and since relocating to North Carolina in 1997, has generally been known as the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Columbus Blue Jackets are a professional ice hockey team based in Columbus, Ohio. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Blue Jackets were founded as an expansion team in 2000. The team qualified for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in 2009. They play their home games at Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus.
New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are a professional ice hockey team based in the New York metropolitan area. They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division. The team plays its home games at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, having previously played at Nassau Coliseum from 1972 until 2015.
The Islanders are one of three NHL franchises in the five boroughs of New York City, along with the Rangers and Devils.
The team was founded in 1972 as part of the NHL’s maneuvers to keep a team from rival league World Hockey Association (WHA), which had placed teams in traditional NHL markets such as New York and Chicago. Initially a part of the Smythe Division of the NHL’s Western Conference, where they played their first four seasons before being moved to the East’s Wales Conference in 1974 due to conference realignment. The team has won four conference championships (1981, 1983, 1984, and 1985–86), but have not returned to the Stanley Cup Finals since winning it all in 1983–84.
The Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, Vegas Golden Knights, and San Jose Sharks are the teams left in the Western Conference. The Predators and Jets are both in the Central Division, while the Golden Knights and Sharks are in the Pacific Division.
The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver, Colorado. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Avalanche were founded in 1972 as the Quebec Nordiques and were one of the charter franchises of the World Hockey Association (WHA). The franchise joined the NHL in 1979 as a result of the NHL–WHA merger.
Following the 1994 season, they were sold to COMSAT, who then moved the team to Denver. In the club’s first season in Denver, they won their first Stanley Cup championship. Since that season, they have qualified for nine seasons of post-season play, but have only won their division once; in 2010. As of 2019, they have …
The Dallas Stars are a professional ice hockey team based in Dallas, Texas. They are members of the Central Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team was founded during the 1967 NHL expansion as the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota. Before the beginning of the 1978–79 NHL season, the team merged with the Cleveland Barons after the league granted them permission due to each team having struggled financially. Ultimately, the franchise relocated to Dallas for the 1993–94 NHL season. The Stars played out of Reunion Arena from their relocation until 2001, when they moved to the American Airlines Center.
San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The Sharks play their home games at the SAP Center, known locally as “the Shark Tank”. They are coached by Peter DeBoer.
The Sharks were founded in 1991 and spent their first season in San Francisco. The club’s proximity to Silicon Valley contributed to the team’s early success, with Joe Montana and Mike Singletary attending games, and significant fan support from dot-com companies. In 2002, George and Gordon Gund IV purchased the team and took them to San Jose.
The Sharks have advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals once, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016. They have won six division titles in 26 seasons since their inception. Overall, they have appeared in the playoffs 20 times since their establishment.
St. Louis Blues
With a 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, the St. Louis Blues have advanced to the Western Conference Final.
This is the first time the Blues have made it to the Conference Final since 2016, when they lost to the San Jose Sharks.
The Blues will now face either the Colorado Avalanche or the San Jose Sharks in the next round. The Avalanche lead that series 3-2.
Keyword: Which Teams Are Left in the NHL Playoffs?