NHL

5 NHL Teams With the Easiest Road to the Playoffs in 2014-15

2014-15 NHL Schedule: 5 Easiest Roads to Playoffs

Reilly Smith Boston Bruins NHL Free Agency
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There's no questioning that the Eastern Conference is the far easier conference in the NHL, so when you combine a talented roster with an easy schedule, there are a few teams that will easily waltz into the postseason. Here are the five teams with the easiest roads to the playoffs.

5. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings
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5. Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings
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In terms of schedule difficulty, the Detroit Red Wings are at the top of the list. In terms of travel and playing against tired teams – or facing an opponent who had a game the night before – the Wings really lucked out. They land at No. 5 on this list because they made no effort improving their roster, so while they have an easy schedule, they'll be an easy team to prepare for considering they will look exactly the same as last year.

4. New York Rangers

Phoenix Coyotes v New York Rangers
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4. New York Rangers

Phoenix Coyotes v New York Rangers
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Behind Detroit, the New York Rangers have the second-easiest schedule in terms of facing tired opponents. Add in that they play in a much weaker conference and they'll have a pretty easy road to making another run at the Stanley Cup.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four
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3. Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens - Game Four
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The Tampa Bay Lightning have really improved their roster during the offseason and will start next season with a healthy Ben Bishop. The only two real threats in their division are the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, which means that they'll likely stroll into the playoffs next season.

2. Anaheim Ducks

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks
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2. Anaheim Ducks

San Jose Sharks v Anaheim Ducks
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The Anaheim Ducks are not only one of the favorites in the Western Conference, but they also play in the easier division. The Central Division contains the St. Louis Blues, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and the much-improved Dallas Stars, whereas the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings are the Ducks' only real competition heading into next season.

1. Boston Bruins

Reilly Smith Dougie Hamiton Loui Eriksson Boston Bruins
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1. Boston Bruins

Reilly Smith Dougie Hamiton Loui Eriksson Boston Bruins
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The Boston Bruins are by far the most talented team in the Eastern Conference and play in the easiest division in the NHL. The Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres will be out of the playoff race when the All-Star break hits, and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators haven't improved during the offseason. The Bruins will have the easiest road to the playoffs in the 2014-15 season.