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Greg Wyshynski

Death Watch: Avs close on 8th seed; big night for Bruins

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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Since we're down to the final moments of postseason life for teams in contention, Puck Daddy solemnly begins a daily countdown to annihilation.

The Colorado Avalanche's loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night didn't put their playoff hopes in jeopardy, because it's going to take a historic end-of-season run for Calgary to make the postseason.

But it did increase the chances that the Avs will have gone from division leader to No. 8 seed, which is an unceremonious drop for what was the NHL's best story before the Phoenix Coyotes stole the narrative.

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With the Sharks solidifying their conference lead, this is bad news for the Avs. On home ice, goalie Evgeni Nabokov(notes) is 6-1-0 with a 1.70 goals-against average and one shutout at home against the Avalanche since 2005-06, according to the AP. Thomas Greiss(notes) got the win between the pipes on Sunday for the Sharks.

Mile High Hockey makes the point that the Avs played hard and had some bad luck against the Jumbo Joe-less Sharks, and that five of their last seven games will be in Denver. One of those games is against the Chicago Blackhawks, and they're 1-0-2 against the 'Hawks this season ... although they haven't faced Chicago in 2010 yet.

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, including two key games for Eastern Conference bubble teams Monday night. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; the Tragic Number is from NHL Standings and Magic Numbers. The former is an industry standard; the latter is a site we discovered this week, and are hopeful that the figures are as accurate as those from NHL Playoff Race. Also: For the Percentage Chance of Making the Playoffs, we've included the figures from Hockey-Reference.com (HR), which is crunching its own numbers. It's listed with the percentage from Sports Club Stats (SCS).

(Some of you have asked, so check here for the Magic/Tragic number explanation.)

Here's the playoff picture for the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have the same number of points and fewer wins than the Hurricanes, but are listed higher due to their game in-hand.

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Philadelphia Flyers (76)

6th/38-32-6/82

-

92.8 (SCS) 91.5 (HR)

28

17

Montreal Canadiens (76)

7th/37-31-8/82

-

91.2 (SCS) 90.1 (HR)

33

26

Boston Bruins (74)

8th/34-28-12/80

-

81.9 (SCS) 82.3 (HR)

28

32

Atlanta Thrashers (75)

9th/33-30-12/78

13

20.2 (SCS) 21.7 (HR)

5

14

New York Rangers (75)

10th/33-32-10/76

11

13.0 (SCS) 13.7 (HR)

3

9

New York Islanders (75)

11th/31-34-10/72

7

0.2 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Tampa Bay Lightning (75)

12th/30-33-12/72

7

0.2 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Florida Panthers (74)

13th/30-33-11/71

8

0.5 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Carolina Hurricanes (75)

14th/31-35-9/71

6

0.1 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Toronto Maple Leafs (76)

15th/28-35-13/69

1

0.0 (SCS) -- (HR)

--

0

The Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night in a huge game, as Boston can either increase its postseason chances to 89.9 percent or see them drop to 72.5 ... depending how the Atlanta Thrashers fare in their home game against the Carolina Hurricanes. A win increases the Thrash's postseason chances to 26.9 percent probability; a loss drops them to 9.1 percent.

A Boston win would finally eliminate the Maple Leafs, according to NHL Standings and Magic Numbers.

Here's the West. Again, the Ducks are ahead of the Wild because they have a game in-hand. As if either of them has a hog's chance in a BBQ cook-off of making the playoffs (and yes, we're translating for the Dallas fans here).

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Detroit Red Wings (75)

6th/39-23-13/91

-

99.3 (SCS) 99.2 (HR)

23

15

Los Angeles Kings (74)

7th/42-26-6/90

-

99.5 (SCS) 99.7 (HR)

21

16

Colorado Avalanche (75)

8th/41-27-7/89

-

96.4 (SCS) 94.8 (HR)

26

45

Calgary Flames (76)

9th/38-29-9/85

9

4.7 (SCS) 6.2 (HR)

0

1

St. Louis Blues (75)

10th/36-30-9/81

7

0.3 (SCS) 0.9 (HR)

0

1

Dallas Stars (75)

11th/33-28-14/80

5

0.1 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Anaheim Ducks (74)

12th/35-31-8/78

6

0.1 (SCS) 0.2 (HR)

0

0

Minnesota Wild (75)

13th/36-33-6/78

4

0.0 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

The Detroit Red Wings have an equal probability of being the fifth or sixth seed, both at 30 percent. Which should make the Sharks happy and the Coyotes and Canucks much less so.

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