The Stanley Cup Playoffs are fast approaching, but we still don’t have a firm answer on which NHL teams could make a run for the Cup.
That could change with the additions of veteran players, including Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
But before that, the teams that are making the most noise in the East and West have had to deal with some other issues, including the salary cap.
Here’s what we know about the teams making the playoffs this season, and which of those teams could be headed for the Stanley War Room by mid-March.
-By Marc Staal-Associated Press-The New York Islanders have been among the most successful teams in the league this season.
They finished in the top half of the Atlantic Division in goals for (4), goals against (11) and save percentage (.928).
They were also one of only three teams to win five of their first six games.
New York finished in first place in the Atlantic for the first time since 2007-08.
-Jason Miller-USA TODAY Sports-Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender.
The team is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference and has won three of its last four games.
The Flyers have also won three straight in the Metropolitan Division.
They are currently fifth in the League.
-Associated Press/Getty Images-The Montreal Canadiens have been an extremely tough team to win over the last few seasons, but the team has won two of their last three games, including a shootout win in Toronto on Sunday.
They currently have the NHL record for consecutive wins, but their chances of making the Stanley Final are slim.
Montreal has a shot at making the postseason in 2016, but it could take a few more games for them to make a dent in the division race.
-Mike Vorkunov-Associated Images-Dallas Stars coach Lindy Ruff said Monday that he is excited about the prospect of bringing back Antti Niemi for the upcoming season.
Niemi missed the last four regular season games with a lower-body injury and is eligible to return at the start of the playoffs.
He is in his first season as a head coach after having spent nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings.
-Bryan Bedder-Associated News-Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL’s best defenseman for the third consecutive season, beating the Boston Bruins’ Patrick Kane in the voting.
The Penguins currently sit fourth in their division and are tied with the Washington Capitals for the NHL lead in goals against average.
Crosby is the NHL leader in goals in a season with 17.
-AP-Associated Post-Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has been one of the NHLs best goalies since his return to the league after a seven-year hiatus.
The 32-year-old has a .906 save percentage in the regular season, which is tied for the league lead, and has been the NHL leading save percentage keeper this season with a .915 mark.