Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/20/14 at 04:34 PM ET
There is a lot of uncertainty in the Eastern Conference playoff race, as the March 5th trade deadline approaches, which means a lot can change in a short period of time before the March 5th trade deadline. Scott Cullen presents the 2014 Trade Deadline Playbook for the Eastern Conference.
It's been accepted that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins are clearly the top teams in the Eastern Conference, but there are so many teams still involved in the playoff race that buyers and sellers can't be
Buffalo, Florida and the New York Islanders are the three teams that can be considered sellers, but there are six teams between 61 and 64 points, with Detroit (64 points in 58 games) currently holding the final playoff spot. If a few more of those teams fall further behind than their current two or three-point deficits, that could help initiate more trade activity.
As the March 5th trade deadline nears, there are only a couple of Western Conference teams (both based in Alberta) out of the playoff race, which means a lot can change before the deadline actually arrives. Scott Cullen presents the 2014 Trade Deadline Playbook for the Western Conference.
There is greater depth at the top of the Western Conference, however, which could lead to something of an arms race as St. Louis, Chicago, Anaheim and San Jose each have at least 80 points, Colorado is at 79 and even Los Angeles, well back with 68, has been a contender in recent seasons, so they're not likely to go quietly without doing something either.
Dallas is clinging to the final playoff spot at the moment, with 64 points, but there are still four others within four points, so there is some sorting to do before teams make their final call whether they are pushing their chips into the middle to go all-in, or folding for another season.
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