There are some teams in the NHL that should be looking for a few playoff spots this season, including the Nashville Predators and Arizona Coyotes, but they have a tough road ahead of them.
Here’s a look at what teams in each division could need to do in order to reach the playoffs.1.
Chicago Blackhawks — Chicago is one of the league’s biggest surprises, and that has to help the Blackhawks find a way to stay in contention.
With so many top-six players coming back, they are set to be one of four teams that can make the playoffs for the first time since 2010-11.
With the playoffs set to start Feb. 28, it will be interesting to see if the Blackhawks can put up some strong numbers during the playoffs to keep them in contention heading into the trade deadline.2.
Pittsburgh Penguins — The Penguins are looking for something to show for the entire offseason.
They have some of the best young talent in the league coming back from injury, but the Penguins will also need to find a long-term answer for the goaltending situation, especially with Evgeni Malkin out for the season.
With Sidney Crosby returning for another season and Marc-Andre Fleury likely to be traded this offseason, the Penguins need to get a longterm answer to replace him.3.
Vancouver Canucks — The Canucks are in the midst of a rebuild that has taken longer than expected.
While some teams will find it easier to find ways to stay afloat with a playoff spot, the Canucks will need to be aggressive with a few moves in the offseason.
Vancouver needs to get to a point where they can contend with the bottom-feeders in the Western Conference.4.
Edmonton Oilers — The Oilers were a playoff team last season and are now trying to win the Stanley Cup again.
The Oilers are in need of some stability and are looking to make the postseason again, especially after missing the playoffs last season.
They need to figure out a way for their young defensemen to develop in order for them to be able to compete with the top teams.5.
Dallas Stars — The Stars are currently rebuilding, and they will need a lot of help from the young players that are coming back.
They are set at center and goalie, but have been without Jamie Benn since the trade of Jamie Benn to the Philadelphia Flyers.
They also need help at defenseman and goaltending.
If the Stars can figure out how to bring some stability to the group and get some scoring from their young players, the Stars could be in good shape heading into next season.6.
Arizona Coyotes — The Coyotes are a young team that could make some noise in the postseason, but with the depth issues they have at forward, the Coyotes will need some help from their other young players to get back into contention.7.
Nashville Predators — The Predators are in a rebuilding mode, and a playoff berth is not a goal for this franchise.
The Predators will have to find some answers at the forward position and goaltenders if they are to compete for a playoff slot.8.
Anaheim Ducks — The Ducks are one of two teams in Anaheim that have a good shot to make a deep run into the playoffs this season.
Their offense should be the key to any team going into the season, but their defense needs to be better and they also need a long term solution for the goalie situation.9.
New York Islanders — The Islanders are set for another rebuild, and their goal is to make some playoff noise, but that will not be easy.
With a number of young players coming into the NHL, the Islanders need to make sure they have depth at all positions to keep up with the big names and the competition at the position.10.
Calgary Flames — The Flames are a team that has a good chance to make an impact this season in the West, and the Flames will need help in the forward and goaltend positions.11.
St. Louis Blues — The Blues have a very talented group coming back and the team will need something to be excited about.
They could use some more scoring and goaltension, and need to add some veteran leadership to the team.12.
Edmonton Jets — The Jets have had some problems at forward this season and need some answers on that front.
They will also have to do some work to find depth in their blue line.13.
San Jose Sharks — The Sharks are set up to make history with the Stanley Cups, but it will take a lot for them back into the mix.
The Sharks need some goaltending and some more offensive production, and needs to find answers at center.14.
New Jersey Devils — The Devils have a lot to prove this season after losing two of their top four defensemen, and if they can keep the goaltenders in place, they could be very good for a while.15.
St Louis Blues -The Blues are set as one of three teams in St. John’s with a chance to win a Stanley Cup.
The Blues are also one of five teams that have to go