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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Eastern Conference drama; Oilers eliminated

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 good news for the Edmonton Oilers: The Phoenix Coyotes lost on Saturday night, meaning the Oilers’ playoff bwhahahahaha … sorry, “hopes” were technically alive.

Clearly inspired by this, the Oilers took on their arch rivals and … well, gave up eight goals to the Calgary Flames.

And with that … RIP, Oilers.

Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

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

Toronto Maple Leafs

WILD CARD 1/80/27 (5H/5A)

-

16

22

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/79/28 (6H/6A)

-

30

22

Washington Capitals

9th/79/25 (5H/5A)

20

6

14

Columbus Blue Jackets

10th/78/31 (6H/6A)

23

20

19

New Jersey Devils

11th/73/30 (7H/4A)

16

2

6

Carolina Hurricanes

12th/71/30 (5H/6A)

14

0

1

Ottawa Senators

13th/69/25 (7H/5A)

14

0

0

New York Islanders

14th/61/20 (5H/7A)

6

-

-

Florida Panthers

15th/60/19 (8H/3A)

3

-

-

The Detroit Red Wings moved into the final wild card spot by virtue of their win over the Minnesota Wild and the Blue Jackets being idle.

The Capitals completed their awesome West Coast trip – earning five of six points in California – with a shootout win over the San Jose Sharks. They’re tied with the Wings in points, but Detroit owns both two games in-hand and the regulation wins tie breaker.

The Red Wings play one of those games in-hand in hosting Minnesota today. Columbus is at the New York Islanders before returning home for a Tuesday showdown with the Wings.

The Devils lost to the Rangers, who kept pace with the Flyers for home ice in the first round of the Metro Division playoffs. Montreal’s win over the Leafs moved them within a point of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the same honors in the Atlantic.

The Leafs face the Devils on Sunday, and could be on the outside of the postseason bubble if they lose and both the Wings and Columbus win.

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 1/83/29 (5H/6A)

-

64

25

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/79/29 (5H/6A)

-

19

35

Dallas Stars

9th/77/30 (5H/7A)

22

15

35

Vancouver Canucks

10th/74/27 (7H/3A)

15

0

2

Winnipeg Jets

11th/73/26 (3H/7A)

14

0

1

Nashville Predators

12th/70/29 (4H/7A)

13

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/65/24 (5H/6A)

8

0

0

Reports of the Dallas Stars’ demise were greatly exaggerated.

With one victory, the Stars moved back to within two points of the Coyotes and control their own destiny by virtue of having the regulation wins tie-breaker with the Yotes.

The Wild play at Detroit in Sunday. Vancouver, still alive, hosts Buffalo on “Hey, Thanks For Hodgson” Day.

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