NHL Playoff Watch Daily: Who has best chances after the trade deadline?

    Tim Kavanagh is a senior NHL editor for ESPN. He’s a native of upstate New York.

The 2021 NHL trade deadline did not have the high volume of trades that characterized the past few seasons. But some significant players did change teams, including Taylor Hall to the Bruins, Kyle Palmieri to the Islanders, Nick Foligno to the Maple Leafs, Anthony Mantha to the Capitals, David Savard to the Lightning and Mattias Janmark to the Golden Knights.

The entire West Division is off on Tuesday night, but six teams currently occupying playoff spots in the other divisions will hit the ice looking to bolster their playoff chances this evening. That includes the Lightning visiting the Predators. The Lightning lead the season series 6-1, and Andrei Vasilevskiy had a 36-save shutout to lead Tampa Bay to a 3-0 victory in their most recent matchup.

Elsewhere, Hall will be with the Bruins as they take on his former team, the Sabres; because of postponements, these teams have played only twice so far this season, with the Bruins winning both. Tuesday’s game is the first of six remaining between the clubs.

As we enter the final stretch of the regular season, it’s time to check in on all the playoff races — along with the teams jockeying for position in the 2021 NHL draft lottery.

Note: Playoff chances are via Money Puck. Tragic numbers are courtesy of Damian Echevarrieta of the NHL.

East Division

Washington Capitals

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: E1
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. PHI (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.1%
Tragic number: N/A

New York Islanders

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ BOS (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 99%
Tragic number: N/A

Pittsburgh Penguins

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 20
Playoff position: E3
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. PHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 98.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Boston Bruins

Points: 48
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: E4
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. BUF (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 76.3%
Tragic number: N/A

New York Rangers

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ NJ (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 16.9%
Tragic number: 27

Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ WSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 9.6%
Tragic number: 26

New Jersey Devils

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. NYR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0.2%
Tragic number: 18

Buffalo Sabres

Points: 26
Regulation wins: 7
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ BOS (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 8

Central Division

Tampa Bay Lightning

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 24
Playoff position: C1
Games left: 15
Next game: @ NSH (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Carolina Hurricanes

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C3
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. NSH (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 99.9%
Tragic number: N/A

Florida Panthers

Points: 56
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: C2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ DAL (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 99.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Nashville Predators

Points: 47
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: C4
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. TB (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 48.1%
Tragic number: N/A

Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ DET (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 15.1%
Tragic number: 24

Dallas Stars

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. FLA (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 37.2%
Tragic number: 26

Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: @ DAL (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0.1%
Tragic number: 16

Detroit Red Wings

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 12
Next game: vs. CHI (Thursday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 13

North Division

Toronto Maple Leafs

Points: 59
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: N1
Games left: 14
Next game: vs. CGY (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Winnipeg Jets

Points: 53
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: N2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ OTT (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 99.3%
Tragic number: N/A

Edmonton Oilers

Points: 52
Regulation wins: 23
Playoff position: N3
Games left: 14
Next game: @ VAN (Friday)
Playoff chances: 96.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Montreal Canadiens

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 16
Playoff position: N4
Games left: 17
Next game: vs. CGY (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 89.7%
Tragic number: N/A

Calgary Flames

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: @ TOR (Tuesday)
Playoff chances: 8.1%
Tragic number: 22

Vancouver Canucks

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 19
Next game: vs. EDM (Friday)
Playoff chances: 6.2%
Tragic number: 28

Ottawa Senators

Points: 32
Regulation wins: 10
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: vs. WPG (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 13

West Division

Colorado Avalanche

Points: 62
Regulation wins: 26
Playoff position: W2
Games left: 14
Next game: @ STL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Vegas Golden Knights

Points: 58
Regulation wins: 22
Playoff position: W1
Games left: 15
Next game: @ LA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 100%
Tragic number: N/A

Minnesota Wild

Points: 51
Regulation wins: 19
Playoff position: W3
Games left: 16
Next game: vs. ARI (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 99.1%
Tragic number: N/A

St. Louis Blues

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13
Playoff position: W4
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. COL (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 41.6%
Tragic number: N/A

Arizona Coyotes

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ MIN (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 34.1%
Tragic number: 26

San Jose Sharks

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. ANA (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 16.5%
Tragic number: 26

Los Angeles Kings

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 15
Next game: vs. VGK (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 8.7%
Tragic number: 25

Anaheim Ducks

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 8
Playoff position: N/A
Games left: 13
Next game: @ SJ (Wednesday)
Playoff chances: 0%
Tragic number: 15

Race for the No. 1 pick

The NHL uses a draft lottery to determine the order at the top of the first round, so the team that finishes in last place is not guaranteed the No. 1 selection. New for 2021, a team may move up a maximum of 10 spots if it wins the lottery, so only 11 teams are eligible for the draw for the No. 1 pick. Full details on the process can be found here.

1. Buffalo Sabres

Points: 26
Regulation wins: 7

2. Ottawa Senators

Points: 32
Regulation wins: 10

3. Anaheim Ducks

Points: 33
Regulation wins: 8

4. New Jersey Devils

Points: 34
Regulation wins: 11

5. Vancouver Canucks

Points: 35
Regulation wins: 11

6. Detroit Red Wings

Points: 36
Regulation wins: 13

7. Calgary Flames

Points: 37
Regulation wins: 15

8. Los Angeles Kings

Points: 38
Regulation wins: 14

9. Columbus Blue Jackets

Points: 39
Regulation wins: 11

10. San Jose Sharks

Points: 40
Regulation wins: 12

11. Dallas Stars

Points: 41
Regulation wins: 13

12. Arizona Coyotes

Points: 43
Regulation wins: 15

13. Philadelphia Flyers

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 13

14. New York Rangers

Points: 44
Regulation wins: 16

15. Chicago Blackhawks

Points: 45
Regulation wins: 13

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