Three NHL Sleeper Teams That Could Surprise in the Playoffs

Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images

Three NHL Sleeper Teams That Could Surprise in the Playoffs


Three NHL Sleeper Teams That Could Surprise in the Playoffs


Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL playoffs are just around the corner and there are a few dark horse teams that could come out of nowhere to surprise and shock the hockey world. In this article, I will highlight the top three NHL sleeper teams that could make some noise in the postseason and potentially cause a major upset.


1- Winnipeg Jets

The Jets are probably the most prominent team on the list, as the other two are potential wild card teams. Sitting at second in the Western Conference, the Jets have a lot to prove in the postseason to show the league why they deserve to be a respected contender.

The main story of the Jets success lies in the hands of Connor Hellebuyck and the Winnipeg defense, as it often does. At a 24-15 record along with a .923 save percentage, Hellebuyck has been the heart and soul of the Jets and has done everything he needs to do to get his team to winning the Stanley Cup. So, what makes this year different and puts them in a better position than in past years? Josh Morrissey is the answer. The seven-year veteran has built on his success from last season and absolutely toppled it, especially in the assist category. Morrissey has nearly doubled his assist count in 25 less games. His role as a two-way player has been the key to the Jets achievements this season and will be an outstanding piece throughout the playoffs.

2- Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames are the worst team on this list, but I have a lot of optimism that they will turn the corner and cement themselves as a playoff team. They have the team that can make some noise in the playoffs with a fantastic defense that allows the second least amount of shots in the league at 27.82 per game. With a decent goalie tandem in Jacob Markstrom and Dan Vladar with their defense, you’d think that the Flames would be near the top of the division. 

However, their offensive play has held them back a bit. They have trouble scoring especially against inferior opponents, which has been a big factor in their struggles. They are not winning the games that they should win, which would be huge as they sit outside the playoffs looking in. If they can fix this issue over the next two months, they should be a prime team to upset some teams come April.  


3- Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers are an interesting team as we head to the playoffs. After defensive struggles in the past and trying to outscore the amount of goals they let up, Edmonton seems to finally be turning a corner and could be a dangerous team in the spring. This is because they found their goalies with Stuart Skinner and Jack Campbell. Campbell was a promising prospect over the last few years and has had decent play in his days with the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs. He might have found his home in Edmonton, where he holds a 15-8 record. Skinner, on the other hand, has been phenomenal in his very short time in the NHL so far, amassing a 13-10 record with a .914 save percentage. 

With more help on defense, their offense can continue their dominance and translate it to prominence. Connor McDavid continues to lead the league in points at 92 with 41 goals in 50 games. Right behind him is another Oiler with Leon Draisaitl adding on 76 points of his own. These key pieces have led the Oilers to have a resurgence of a season and if they end up making the playoffs, they could make some noise. 


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