The Vegas Golden Knights find themselves in playoff position as the regular season approaches its end. As the goings-on in the standings become increasingly important, let's take a look at the current status of the NHL's leaderboard as of Monday afternoon.
CURRENT PACIFIC DIVISION STANDINGS
- Calgary Flames: 35-16-7, 77 points
- San Jose Sharks: 35-17-7, 77 points
- Vegas Golden Knights: 32-24-4, 68 points
- Vancouver Canucks: 26-27-7, 59 points
- Arizona Coyotes: 26-27-5, 57 points
- Anaheim Ducks: 23-27-9, 55 points
- Edmonton Oilers: 24-29-5, 53 points
- Los Angeles Kings: 23-29-6, 52 points
WHO WOULD PLAY WHO?
In the current playoff format, the top three teams from each division earn a playoff spot. The next two best teams in the conference standings outside of the top three in their own divisions are awarded wild card spots. Wild card teams can come from either of the two divisions in each conference. The first-place teams in each division play the wild card teams, while the second and third place teams in each division go head to head in the first round.
As it stands on Feb. 18, the Western Conference playoff matchups would be as follows:
Pacific 1: Calgary Flames vs. Wild Card 2: Minnesota Wild
Pacific 2: San Jose Sharks vs. Pacific 3: Vegas Golden Knights
Central 1: Winnipeg Jets vs. Wild Card 1: Dallas Stars
Central 2: Nashville Predators vs. Central 3: St. Louis Blues
WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT
The Calgary Flames have taken a step back from the torrent pace they've played at all season, but still have a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 contests. San Jose has challenged Calgary for the top spot in the division as they've won seven of their last 10 games. Vegas has endured a tough stretch but a strong win Saturday against Nashville shows promise for the Golden Knights as they hope to climb higher in the Pacific. The Canucks and Coyotes are challenging for wild card spots, but both teams have faltered in recent weeks thus hindering their ascent in the Western Conference.