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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Charity points create playoff chaos

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
Walking Death Watch
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Walking Death Watch

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

Interesting times on the Eastern and Western Conference bubbles, thanks to the charity point.

The Columbus Blue Jackets blew a lead against Colorado but earned the overtime loss point to move to 83 points on the season. That’s one ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, whose win over Calgary gave them 82 points, although the Jackets have two games in-hand.

The Capitals were smoked at home, 5-0, by Dallas, keeping them at 81 points and dropping their playoff probability to 8 percent, down 11.2 percentage points.

The Devils blew yet another shootout, going 0-for-11 on the season in a loss to Buffalo. They picked up the charity point to move to 80 on the season, but their tragic number is now nine.

Over in the West, the Coyotes’ shootout loss to Winnipeg combined with Dallas’ win gives the Stars the second wild card by virtue of the regulation wins tie-breaker.

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.

Here’s the Eastern Conference picture:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1st Wild Card

% Chance of 2nd Wild Card B

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/84/30 (3H/4A)

-

49

33

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/83/33 (3H/4A)

-

35

33

Toronto Maple Leafs

9th/80/28 (2H/3A)

9

1

7

Washington Capitals

10th/81/25 (2H/4A)

10

1

6

New Jersey Devils

11th/80/32 (4H/2A)

9

3

12

Ottawa Senators

12th/78/27 (4H/3A)

9

1

3

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/77/32 (3H/4A)

6

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/70/22(2H/5A)

1

-

0

The Tampa Lightning and Montreal Canadiens both clinched playoff spots in Tampa’s win. Both have 93 points but the Bolts currently have the No. 2 seed in the division because they have a game in-hand.

The New York Rangers moved to 90 points with their win over Vancouver, three ahead of the Flyers who still have two games in-hand.

Tonight, the Red Wings welcome back Pavel Datsyuk for their game against the Boston Bruins, while the Islanders can finally be eliminated if they lose a point at Ottawa.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/89/32 (4H/2A)

-

61

31

Dallas Stars

WILD CARD 2/85/34 (3H/4A)

 

30

44

Phoenix Coyotes

9th/85/30 (3H/3A)

12

9

26

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (4H/1A)

4

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

11th/78/27 (3H/2A)

3

-

0

Nashville Predators

12th/77/31 (2H/4A)

4

0

0

The Stars have a significant tie-breaker lead in regulation wins over the Coyotes, whose playoff probability dropped by 13.6 percentage points to 34.2 percent. The Stars will have two games in-hand after tonight, when the Coyotes play the Los Angeles Kings in LA.

The San Jose Sharks closed to within a point of idle Anaheim (106) for the top seed in the division, but the Ducks have two games in-hand. They face the Oilers tonight.

Colorado moved to three points ahead of the Blackhawks for home ice in the first round, and have a game in-hand.

The Blues’ win moved them to 109 points, one behind the Bruins for the Presidents’ Trophy. Both teams have seven games left.

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