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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Door opens for Blue Jackets; Coyotes need help

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.

The Flyers’ loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, thanks to a Steven Stamkos third-period goal, has thrown the Eastern Conference playoff picture into a little chaos.

The Flyers are tied with Columbus and Detroit with 91 points. They all have two games remaining. They hold the tie-breaker lead (38 ROW) with the Jackets (37) and especially with the Wings (33).

Philly closes at Pittsburgh and in Carolina. The Jackets play at Tampa and at Florida. The Wings host Carolina and close in St. Louis.

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

Philadelphia Flyers

3rd in Metro/91/38 (1H/1A)

-

20

22

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 1/91/37 (2A)

-

32

26

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/91/33 (1H/1A)

-

48

52

So, as it stands, the Flyers can face either the Rangers, Penguins or Bruins in the first round, depending on how things break.

In the end, it’s NBC that wins …

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 1/98/34 (1H)

-

100

-

Dallas Stars

WILD CARD 2/89/35 (1H/1A)

-

-

86

Phoenix Coyotes

9th/87/30 (2H)

2

-

14

The Coyotes laid an egg in Nashville last night, losing 2-0, as Pekka Rinne made 29 saves. "We didn't generate enough chances to give ourselves a chance to score. Simple as that," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said to NHL.com. "First couple of periods, we generated very little on the offensive side."

And now they need help. Dallas holds the ROW tie-breaker, so the Coyotes need them to lose in regulation or OT vs. St. Louis tonight and then Phoenix has to beat the Sharks. That would put them in position to overtake the Stars in their season finale showdown.

The other big news is that the Blues are in trouble. The Avalanche overtook them for the top of the Central with their win and St. Louis’ loss. They both have 111 points, but Colorado has four more ROW.

The Blues and Blackhawks, Round 1? Yes please.

Boston’s shootout loss means that Anaheim (112) is the only team that can catch the Bruins (115) in the Presidents’ Trophy race.

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