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2014 NHL Playoffs: 5 Teams With Least Chance of Reaching Stanley Cup

Picking Out Teams That Simply Can't Reach the Stanley Cup

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The 16-team field for the 2014 NHL Playoffs has been set in stone, and the action is now due to begin on Apr. 16. Over the next few months teams will fight through blocked shots, hard checks and overtime games to win the Stanley Cup, and some teams simply don't look to have what it takes. Specifically, these five teams stand no chance of even reaching the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals.

5. Detroit Red Wings

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5. Detroit Red Wings

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Detroit fought very hard to earn a 23rd consecutive playoff appearance this spring, but their status as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference displays their utter mediocrity. During the 2013-14 season the Red Wings ranked 16th in goals for and against and compiled an underwhelming 39-28-15 record. A matchup with the physical Boston Bruins will not help the various injured players in Detroit and will ensure a first-round exit.

4. Philadelphia Flyers

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4. Philadelphia Flyers

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The Philadelphia Flyers had a very inconsistent 2013-14 season, although they did earn the No. 6 spot in the Eastern Conference and a first-round date with the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, Philadelphia is not suited for playoff hockey, as they don't play the structured and vigorously physical style needed to succeed. The Flyers ranked 20th in goals per game against this year, and they will go down to a more defensive team early this spring.

3. San Jose Sharks

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3. San Jose Sharks

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The San Jose Sharks have lost in the Conference Quarterfinals, Semifinals or Finals the last eight years, and it is hard to deny they will lose early again in 2014. Sure, San Jose ranks sixth in goals for and fifth in goals against, but they can't seem to get away from a wide open style headed by Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. The Sharks won't succeed in the playoffs with this style, and thus they won't make the Stanley Cup.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

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2. Tampa Bay Lightning

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The Tampa Bay Lightning had a rather surprising 2013-14 season, finishing third in the Eastern Conference with 101 points and securing a first-round matchup with the Montreal Canadiens. Tampa Bay is not set for playoff success, though, because of the fact that Steven Stamkos isn't at his dominant best and the team isn't great on either the power play or penalty kill. The Lightning do have a bright future, but 2014 won't be their year.

1. Dallas Stars

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1. Dallas Stars

Dallas Stars nhl playoffs
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The Dallas Stars earned the No. 8 seed in the West, but things are shaping up for a quick playoff exit. Dallas will be stymied by the fact that they don't have any real consistent offensive punch behind Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, their defense lacks the physicality to dominate in the playoffs and Kari Lehtonen has never found playoff success. It would be a miracle to see Dallas beat Anaheim Ducks, and they have no shot at the Stanley Cup.