NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today for the Florida Panthers

The Florida Panthers are in a heated battle for the top spot in the Atlantic and in the East, but where are they currently in the NHL Playoff Bracket?
Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers
Tampa Bay Lightning v Florida Panthers / Joel Auerbach/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit

Sitting right behind the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, the Florida Panthers are looking to contend for a Presidents’ Trophy and a spot as the top overall seed in the NHL Playoff Bracket. But Boston will not go away, and over in the Metropolitan Division, the New York Rangers are also challenging the Panthers to be the top team in the conference.

But Florida won’t need to worry about the Bruins or the Rangers if the season ended today, as they would face the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team well behind them in the standings but one they cannot take lightly. Toronto has seen its share of struggles this year, but that hasn’t been the case lately, and there is a good chance they could even catch an elite team like Florida off-guard. 

It’s something the Panthers enjoyed last season when they entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs as heavy underdogs, only to upset the Bruins. Boston, if you remember, will go down in the history books as arguably the best regular season team ever, but Florida showed the NHL universe that nothing is impossible when the postseason rolls around. 

Florida Panthers current Playoff Bracket features a series vs. Maple Leafs

One reason the Panthers can’t take Toronto lightly should this matchup remain intact when the NHL Playoffs really roll around is that the latter can score on anyone. Toronto is averaging 3.65 goals per game, and while the Panthers are one of the best defensive teams in hockey, it only takes one bad stretch for a team to find itself playing catch-up during the postseason. 

Luckily, Florida is also one of the higher-scoring teams in the league, ranking 11th with 224 goals scored in 68 contests. If they keep playing well defensively, the Panthers will hold Toronto’s best scorers in check and once again advance in the playoffs. In just a few short weeks, we will see if the Panthers indeed square off with the Maple Leafs in the First Round. 

feed

(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)