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Things have not worked out for Vancouver
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NHL season update: Western Conference is on the rise

For a long time the top of the NHL standings was dominated by teams from the Eastern Conference and, while the leading three of Boston Bruins, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils are from the East, the divide has evened out below them.

Vegas Golden Knights have won four of their last five and moved up to fourth overall, with Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild all now also racking up a similar points tally to the East's best.

Quick impact with Vegas

Vegas has found consistency since returning from the February All-Star break and leads the NHL with a 13-2-2 record in that time.

Veteran Jonathan Quick has won four of five starts since he joined Vegas after a 15-season career with the Los Angeles Kings where he won the Stanley Cup twice in 2012 and 2014.

Stunned by the Kings' decision to move him ahead of the trade deadline, Quick has proven he still has much to give with a .904 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average over his five starts.

His addition was important for a side with +1200 Stanley Cup aspirations, as Logan Thompson remains side-lined from an injury sustained in early February.

Wild are on the charge

Just a few weeks ago, the Wild were on the outside of the playoff positions and pressure was rising on an organisation who are now +1500 to win the Stanley Cup.

But, after a franchise best 14-game point streak the Wild are hot on the heels of Dallas Stars for first place in the Central Division and +310 to finish top.

The reigning Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche are +125 to win the division and they are currently two points behind the Wild with a game in hand and three points away from Dallas but with two games in hand.

Jets are in freefall

Following poor run of form (3-5-2 in their past ten) the Winnipeg Jets have fallen down the Central division to fourth and find themselves in a fight for a Wild Card spot from the Western Conference.

The Pacific Division's Seattle Kraken hold the first Wild Card place in the West and are a healthy four points ahead of the Jets with a game in hand.

Aiming to take the Jets out of a playoff spot are the Calgary Flames, who are three points behind, and Nashville Predators, who after being written off a couple of weeks ago have gone 7-2-1 in their last ten games and put themselves four points behind Winnipeg but with three games in hand.

Oilers leaking goals

The Edmonton Oilers have slipped away from the battle for first place in the Pacific Division, which is currently being contested between the Golden Knights and Kings.

The Oilers are the top scoring team in the NHL, averaging 3.88 goals per game, have the best powerplay (31.5%) and the only two players to reach 100 points so far in Connor McDavid (131) and Leon Draisaitl (101).

But, despite having the undoubted frontrunner for the Hart Memorial Trophy in McDavid, the Oilers find themselves six points behind Vegas and five from Los Angeles, in large part due to their 21st ranked defensive record (3.29 average goals conceded per game) and 25th worse penalty-kill (75.3%).

Edmonton made the Western Conference Final last season and are +550 to go a step further and win it this season. But to have a chance of delivering on those odds and their +1300 to be crowned Stanley Cup Champions, they must find a way to keep the puck out of their net.

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Bruins have chance to make history

Over in the East, the Bruins (51-11-5; 107 points) still have chance to break the all-time record for most wins (62) and points (132) in a regular season and, while they are more focused on their chances of winning the Stanley Cup, their pursuit of history will be a fun one in the final 15 games.

Below them in the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning are set to meet for a second consecutive time in the first round of the playoffs, with Florida Panthers the most likely other team to get into the post-season from the division via a Wild Card spot.

Metro race heats up

The Carolina Hurricanes have held first place in the Metropolitan Division for much of the season and a -300 to win it.

But, with the blow of losing All-Star Andrei Svechnikov to injury, Carolina have struggled recently for offence which has allowed a young and vibrant New Jersey side to rather loudly creep up on them.

The Devils are one point behind and +220 to finish first which reflects the fact that the Hurricanes have the benefit of two games in hand.

The Metro's Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders are currently in position to secure the two Wild Card places from the Eastern Division but face stiff competition, notably from the Atlantic's Panthers who are just three points behind.

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