Dominic Moore is finding it difficult to pick a favorite in the Western Conference with the Stanley Cup Playoffs less than a month away.
Moore, the former NHL forward who played 897 games with 10 teams, joined the "NHL @TheRink" podcast Tuesday and spoke to co-hosts Dan Rosen and Shawn P. Roarke about the wild playoff race in the West.
Six points separate the Vegas Golden Knights (96), Los Angeles Kings (92), Dallas Stars (92), Minnesota Wild (91), Edmonton Oilers (90) and Colorado Avalanche (90). The playoffs begin April 17.
Moore couldn't pinpoint one team as the favorite. He spoke glowingly about the Avalanche and how they've handled all their injuries this season, but also feels other teams have caught up to them and that they're not quite the same as they were last season, when they won the Stanley Cup.
Moore praised the Wild and said a lot of their success, going 13-1-4 since Feb. 17, has to do with the goaltending they're getting from Marc-Andre Fleury and Filip Gustavsson. He also touched on the Eastern Conference and the challenge that players for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are going through knowing that their expected playoff matchup has been set for a while.
In addition, Moore said the Boston Bruins should be the favorite, but he would not be surprised if a team like the New York Islanders knocked them off in the Eastern Conference First Round if that matchup happens.
Moore is an analyst for ESPN and co-host, with Kathryn Tappen, of "NHL Mash-Up," a biweekly show on the NHL YouTube channel that features some of the best on-ice and off-ice content created and produced by the 32 teams.
Rosen and Roarke also broke down the Avalanche, specifically the impact goalie Alexandar Georgiev has had on the team, and questioned if the Pittsburgh Penguins have what it takes to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time since 2005-06. They also talked about potential upset specials that could happen in the playoffs and tipped their caps to Alex Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals forward who set an NHL record Tuesday for the most 40-goal seasons in NHL history (13).
The podcast is free, and listeners can subscribe on all podcast platforms. It is also available on NHL.com/multimedia/podcasts and the NHL app.
Listen: New episode of NHL @TheRink