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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Devilish possibilities in Eastern Conference

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.

Well the Eastern Conference playoff race just got a hell of a lot more interesting, courtesy of the Devils.

New Jersey’s 4-point weekend moved them within a point of the Blue Jackets for the final wild card, although Columbus has a game in-hand. They also moved to within three points of the third-place Flyers (87 points), who also have a game in-hand.

To call the Devils’ final four games “winnable” would be an understatement: Calgary, the Islanders and the Bruins (in the season finale, when you imagine many of their regulars will rest) at home; the Senators on the road.

They need help, but they’re in it.

Then again, the same can still be said for the Capitals and Leafs.

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 1/88/32 (1H/3A)

-

63

27

Columbus Blue Jackets

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

-

22

36

New Jersey Devils

9th/84/34 (3H/1A)

7

6

20

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/84/29 (3A)

5

0

2

Washington Capitals

11th/83/25 (2H/2A)

6

0

2

Ottawa Senators

13th/80/28 (2H/2A)

3

0

0

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/79/33 (1H/3A)

2

-

0

The Flyers face Buffalo on Sunday with a chance to cut into the Rangers’ four-point lead for home ice (91-87 points) and to distance themselves from the Metro rivals on the playoff bubble that are making things interesting.

The Blue Jackets host the Islanders, and this one’s going to tell us a lot about this team’s ability to close out the competition.

Carolina can be eliminated with a Columbus win.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/92/33 (3H/1A)

-

84

16

Dallas Stars

WILD CARD 2/87/35 (3H/2A)

-

16

70

Phoenix Coyotes

9th/86/30 (2H/2A)

7

1

14

Nashville Predators

10th/81/33 (2H/2A)

1

-

0

Vancouver Canucks

11th/81/30 (3H/1A)

1

-

0

Wins by Minnesota and Dallas solidified their wild card hold. The Stars are in Florida today with a chance to knock the Coyotes’ tragic number down to five while eliminating both the Predators and Canucks if they gain at least a point.

Boston leads St. Louis by two points for the Presidents’ Trophy, 113-111. The Blues play their game in-hand today at Chicago.

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