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Greg Wyshynski
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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 Calgary Flames blew a third-period lead against the New York Islanders. The Atlanta Thrashers couldn't squeeze two points out of the Leafs. The Boston Bruins saw Tuukka Rask(notes) surrender five goals for the first time in his NHL career, dropping a home game to Tampa Bay.

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Then there are the New York Rangers, who are suddenly back in the postseason conversation.

They now have a 20.9-percent probability to make the playoffs, up 10.5 percent from Thursday morning, according to Sports Club Stats. This team looked over and out after losing to Boston, and Scotty Hockey's trying to wrap his brain around it all:

One thing is for certain: we are headed for a heartbreak, either in coming so close to the playoffs and not making it (and giving up a chance at the draft lotto) or in making the playoffs and getting crushed in the first round.

Whatever, just riiiiide the tide and deal with the final destination when we wash up on the shore.

The East is tightening up again, while the Red Wings can finish off at least one foe with a win tonight. Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West. 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:

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Boston Bruins (73)

8th/ 33-28-12/78

-

72.1 (SCS) 73.2 (HR)

21

36

Atlanta Thrashers (74)

9th/32-30-12/76

15

14.7 (SCS) 14.2 (HR)

3

11

New York Rangers (74)

10th/33-32-9/75

14

20.9 (SCS) 20.8 (HR)

5

15

Tampa Bay Lightning (74)

11th/30-32-12/72

11

1.2 (SCS) 1.6 (HR)

0

1

Florida Panthers (73)

12th/30-32-11/71

12

2.4 (SCS) 1.4 (HR)

0

2

Carolina Hurricanes (74)

13th/31-34-9/71

10

0.8 (SCS) 1.0 (HR)

0

1

New York Islanders (74)

14th/30-34-10/70

10

0.1 (SCS) 0.1 (HR)

0

0

Toronto Maple Leafs (74)

15th/27-35-12/66

5

0.0 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

The Islanders are still clinging to the narrowest of measurable probabilities, but at this point there's a better chance of being bitten by a shark while lightning strikes you and a meteor crashes into the Earth than John Tavares(notes) playing in the 2010 postseason.

Or, in another comparable probability, of Rick DiPietro(notes) playing three consecutive NHL games ...

The Bruins' loss dropped their probability for the playoffs from 36 percent down to 28 percent.

The New Jersey Devils and Buffalo Sabres both, at the moment, have a 40-percent chance of taking the No. 2 seed behind the Capitals.

Here's the West:

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Detroit Red Wings (73)

8th/37-23-13/87

-

95.1 (SCS) 94.6 (HR)

26

42

Calgary Flames(74)

9th/37-28-9/83

13

6.5 (SCS) 6.6 (HR)

1

6

St. Louis Blues (74)

10th/35-30-9/79

9

0.6 (SCS) 0.9 (HR)

0

1

Minnesota Wild (74)

11th/36-32-6/78

8

0.2 (SCS) 0.2 (HR)

0

0

Dallas Stars (74)

12th/32-28-14/78

8

0.1 (SCS) 0.1 (HR)

0

0

Anaheim Ducks (73)

13th/34-31-8/76

8

0.1 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Columbus Blue Jackets (74)

14th/30-32-12/72

2

0.0 (SCS) -- (HR)

0

0

Some reshuffling of the deck, but that regulation loss by the Flames on Long Island might have put an end to the chase for the eighth seed.

The Jackets can be eliminated tonight, officially, with a Red Wings win over the Minnesota Wild. Finally, a playmate for the Oilers, who have been alone on that tire swing for some time.

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