NHL Death Watch: Devils, Oilers eliminated; Red Wings in must-win mode

Greg Wyshynski
April 22, 2013

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

Fare three well, Edmonton Oilers and New Jersey Devils, both eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday. In the latter’s case, welcome back to the lottery; in the former’s case, usual seat at the table, sirs?

With the Columbus Blue Jackets’ win over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday, the Detroit Red Wings find themselves three points back of the No. 8 seed with two games in-hand as they enter Monday night’s game vs. the Phoenix Coyotes. The Dallas Stars’ OT loss at the Los Angeles Kings also helped the Wings: They’re tied in points but Detroit has a game in-hand.

All of this is to say that the Wings’ home game against the Coyotes is critical on several fronts, including that of Phoenix: The Yotes are two points away from Detroit and Dallas and five points off the No. 8 see. A win against Detroit gives them a heartbeat; a loss would be devastating.

As for the Wings, the pressure to extend their 21-season playoff streak is mounting. From MLive.com, Mike Babcock and Henrik Zetterberg said:

“If you’re one of these players who has a stake in the Red Wings, especially the ones who have put in a ton of time, they don’t want it (to end) on their watch either,'' Babcock said.

“I think everyone feels that,'' Zetterberg said. “It's been a long time since we missed the playoffs and you don't want to be part of that team. Definitely, I take big responsibility in that.''

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; tragic numbers and other figures via the NHL. A team is eliminated from play-offs when their "Tragic Number" hits 0.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
New York Islanders (3) 6th/53/20 - 97.3 32 31
Ottawa Senators (4) 7th/52/19 - 95.9 29 33
New York Rangers (3) 8th/52/20 - 97.1 33 27
Winnipeg Jets (3) 9th/49/21 3 15.7 1 7

The Jets are in Buffalo on Monday night in a game that’ll go a long way in determining the stakes for Tuesday night’s game at Washington.

Winnipeg is at 49 points with three games let, while the Capitals have 52 points with three games left. With a win, the Jets would be in position to take the Southeast lead from the Caps with a victory on Tuesday night. Washington, however, still would have a game in-hand, with home games against Ottawa and Boston remaining.

Speaking of Ottawa, they host Pittsburgh, go to Washington, host the Flyers and end at Boston. While their playoff spot is probably assured, they could slip to the No. 8 seed and a meeting with a returning Sidney Crosby and the Pens.

Team (Games Remaining) Place/Pts/ROW Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
St. Louis Blues (3) 6th/54/21 - 99.9 6 1
Minnesota Wild (3) 7th/51/20 - 86.8 52 21
Columbus Blue Jackets (2) 8th/51/17 - 45.9 13 32
Detroit Red Wings (4) 9th/48/18 5 41.2 14 26
Dallas Stars (3) 10th/48/20 3 21.3 6 15
Phoenix Coyotes (4) 11th/46/15 3 5.0 1 4

The Blue Jackets could pull this out, huh?

From Aaron Portzline:

Before last night, the Blue Jackets had only one regulation win ever in San Jose, and only two wins period. Before last night, the Sharks had only one regulation loss all season in the Shark Tank, giving them the best home record in the NHL. This six-game road trip – which was expected to bring the Jackets’ demise – has instead started with a 4-1-0 record. The Jackets play in Dallas on Thursday.

The Coyotes vs. Red Wings game is the only one with huge bubble implications in the West on Monday night.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, could clinch the President’s Trophy with a win over Vancouver and a Penguins’ loss at Ottawa, or an OT loss in Vancouver coupled with a Penguins’ regulation loss.