Teams that should make the playoffs this year are: Canucks, Blues, Red Wings, Wild, Kings, Blackhawks, Predators, and Sharks. The Coyotes, Ducks, Avalanche, and Stars can push for the final playoff spot and one or even two of them might just make it. The Avalanche are improved this year and blew their last ten games last year (thus eliminating themselves from the playoffs). They could surprise. If Mike Smith plays outstanding again this year he could catapult the Coyotes into the playoffs. If the Ducks put forth a genuine effort they could make the playoffs. The Stars have to get Jamie Benn signed and also Derek Roy on the ice. If that happens soon they have a shot. I feel that the Flames, Oilers, and Blue Jackets will fall short. The Predators will not do as well this year and could be caught. The Sharks can be eliminated from post season action if they don’t give 100 % effort for all 48 games. If Crawford does not improve off of last year’s performance, the Blackhawks could also be caught.