NHL Playoff Bracket if the season ended today for the Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have gotten hot since they traded for and saw Jake Guentzel return, putting them in a favorable spot for the current NHL Playoff Bracket.

Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs
Carolina Hurricanes v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

The Carolina Hurricanes sit four points behind the New York Rangers in what should be a classic battle for the Metropolitan Division for a top spot in the NHL Playoff Bracket. One player they traded for earlier in the month to help them supersede New York is Jake Guentzel, who has been as-advertised through his first four games with the team. 

Guentzel, who returned on March 12th after missing nearly a month, has five points and a goal in those contests, finding the net for the first time as a Hurricane in their 7-2 win over the Ottawa Senators. But will Guentzel’s presence be enough to overcome the Rangers and take first place?

If not, the Hurricanes may ironically find themselves in a better position than New York to win. While the Rangers would be dealing with a Tampa Bay Lightning team that is better than its points total, the Hurricanes would play the third-place team in the Metro, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Current NHL playoff bracket has the Carolina Hurricanes squaring off vs. the Flyers

You can, however, argue the Flyers are the third-best team in a bad division, with just 76 points through 68 games, putting them on pace to end the year with just 92 points, a total the Hurricanes are just one win away from achieving. Philadelphia has also been inconsistent in both zones, scoring just 202 goals this year while they have allowed 208, so they are also looking at a negative differential. 

It’s also clear that, while the Hurricanes and Rangers are built to perennially contend, that may not be the case with a Flyers team that was supposed to rebuild had it not been for their surprise season. But this could cause a team that general manager Daniel Briere should be planning to break up this coming summer to overthink things since quite a few players know they will likely play elsewhere next year, which would play into Carolina’s hands. 

While the Hurricanes aren’t currently set to play a wild card team, don’t think it means they will face the tougher challenge, especially given the Tampa Bay Lightning’s recent surge. That isn’t the case, given how weak the Metro’s third-place team currently is. 


(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)