The NHL Playoff Push -The Real March Madness

NHL March Madness —

By Carlo Todaro —

With twenty-two games left in the Winnipeg Jets schedule and forty-four days to play them in, the 2013-14 playoff push will not lack in excitement.  There are currently five teams on the NHL’s Western Conference playoff bubble vying for one Wild Card playoff spot.

The Dallas Stars (64 pts), Phoenix Coyotes (64 pts), Vancouver Canucks (63 pts), Winnipeg Jets (62 pts) and the Nashville Predators (60 pts) are so tightly bunched positions will change almost on a nightly basis.

January 12, 2014-Chevy-13

         Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff                    photo by Shawn Coates

Having to play a game every second night on average, will, without a doubt expose the teams who do not have enough depth throughout their lineup .  With this kind of grinding schedule, these teams will not be able to shorten the benches.  They will have to roll four lines and must get some production from everyone.  This situation puts GM’s in a tough spot.  Do they add a piece or two and go for it by giving up valuable draft picks or prospects all without any guarantee of success or do they hold firm and hope they have what it takes to get there without mortgaging the future?  

There is also another problem.  What do teams do with their pending free agents when they’re in the running for a playoff spot?  Do you hang on to them and risk losing them without any return during the off season or do you move them for valuable picks or prospects down the road?  GM’s have a lot to think about all the while knowing that their actions will be reviewed later by their owners, players, fans, pundits and armchair GM’s all with the 100 % accuracy that hindsight brings.  

Dammed if you do dammed if you don’t!  No one ever said that being an NHL GM was easy.  Right ?

Blog Stats

  • 181,522 hits