With the Vancouver Canucks and Colorado Avalanche back in action this month after coronavirus-related pauses, NHL headlines have once again returned to the ice instead of the medical reports.
Barring further changes related to COVID-19 protocol, the 2021 NHL season is scheduled to end on May 19, with the Stanley Cup playoffs starting sometime around then.
Much is still up in the air in the division standings (the top four teams in each division make the playoffs), complicated by the uneven number of games played by teams. And individual awards are still up for grabs.
With about three weeks left in the season, here are some races to watch.
First in the West
The Vegas Golden Knights currently lead by four points and are on a nine-game winning streak. The Colorado Avalanche have a game in hand but blew an opportunity with back-to-back losses to the St. Louis Blues. The Minnesota Wild are five back and have won seven in a row. The Golden Knights control their fate with meetings with the Avalanche on Wednesday and May 10 and with the Wild on May 3 and 5. Colorado is hoping to get No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer and high-scoring Mikko Rantanen back soon. The No. 2 vs No. 3 matchup in this division could be the best in the first round.
McDavid’s charge to 100 points
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid has the Hart Trophy all but wrapped up, but can he pull off 100 points in a 56-game season? It’s quite possible. He sits at 81 points with 10 games remaining, so he’d have to average…