A new poll by the Hockey Writers’ Association of America (HQWA) ranks the league’s top eight teams based on their record in 2017-18, based on the NHL’s overall record.
Teams with the most wins in 2017, tied for the fourth-most in the NHL, have the highest chances to win it all.
The next best chances, tied with the Dallas Stars, are Montreal Canadiens (22.8 percent), Winnipeg Jets (21.9 percent), Tampa Bay Lightning (20.3 percent), Anaheim Ducks (20 percent), Colorado Avalanche (20.)
“The Stanley Cup Playoffs are always the most important part of the season,” said Josh Lehner, a senior writer with Hockey Writers of America.
“It’s the biggest prize on the ice and the best opportunity to build a legacy and build a foundation.”
The five best chance-to-win teams are all tied at the top, with the New York Islanders at 13.3 points per game, the Florida Panthers at 12.5 points, the Los Angeles Kings at 12 points and the New Jersey Devils at 11 points.
The Islanders, Panthers, Kings and Devils were among the teams that scored the fewest goals in the regular season (3.13) and had the lowest goals-against average (1.94).
The Islanders had the second-fewest goals allowed (2.13), had the most shutouts (nine) and led the NHL with a plus-minus rating of +21.7.
They have the second best record in the Eastern Conference, tied at 10-2-1 and lead the NHL in goals per game (2,917).
The next best chance, tied to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is the Edmonton Oilers at 13 points per contest.
The Tampa Bay franchise had a 3-0-0 record and had four shutouts.
The Oilers also led the league in goals allowed at 2.27 goals per contest and were second in shots allowed at 8.04 per game.
The next-best chance, to the Calgary Flames, is tied at 11.4 points per match.
The Calgary Flames have won seven of their last nine and have won 10 of their past 11.
Calgary also led all teams in goals against average (2.,902), second in goals for percentage (2 percentage points), fourth in goals-for percentage (5.17) and third in goals scored (7.16).
The top three teams in overall goals scored, tied, with Nashville at 16.2 points per set, are the Chicago Blackhawks (16.2), Montreal Canadiens at 16 points per win and the Colorado Avalanche at 15.1 points per victory.
The Colorado Avalanche, who have the league lead in goals and goals for, also had the fourth most goals allowed in the Western Conference at 2,963.
The bottom three teams, tied as they are at 13, are Tampa Bay at 13 wins per set and the Winnipeg Jets at 12, the Anaheim Ducks at 11 and the St. Louis Blues at 10.
The Chicago Blackhawks have the NHL lead in points, tied the Toronto Maple Leafs at 2 and have a plus/minus rating at +22.4.
The St. Los Angeles Blues have the AHL lead in shutouts, tied Calgary at 6 and the Edmonton Flames at 6.
The NHL regular season starts March 2 and concludes March 10.