NHL Playoff Death Watch: In praise of Canada; Wild, Canucks clinch

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

How about those Flames, Jets and Sens?

All three were winners on Tuesday night, putting the Flames and Jets just two points gained by them or lost by the Los Angeles Kings from clinching playoff berths.

The wrinkle, of course, is that they face each other in the season finale. So let’s say the Flames and Jets crap the bed in their next game – for Calgary, that’s the Kings – and enter the final game both needing a win if the Kings win out. Boy, that would be fun …

But asking the Kings to win the next two might be a tall order, given what happened in Edmonton last night.

As for Ottawa, the Eastern Conference darlings are now on a 21-4-4 run after their OT win over the Penguins. They still need help to get in – and take care of their own business – but what a ride.

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…


The Bruins and Capitals face off tonight, with the Caps looking to increase their hold on home ice in the first round. Could be against the Islanders … or the Penguins, who still have a shot at moving up as high as the No. 3 seed in the Metro.

Of course, there’s also a chance that the Penguins could be out if the Sens win out and they drop at least one game against the Isles or Sabres.

The Red Wings’ win took some of the pressure off, but it’s going to be right down to wire as far as being a No. 3 seed or a wild card. 

Meanwhile, in the West …

Congrats to the Canucks and the Wild, who clinched playoff berths last night. 

The Ducks face the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, with a chance to clinch the first overall seed in the West via a non-shootout win.

The Blues, Predators and Blackhawks all lost last night. The Blues lead the Central at 105 points, Nashville has 104 and Chicago has 102. The Preds lead with 41 ROW, while the Blues have 40 and Chicago has 39.

If the playoffs started today …



Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski salutes five coaches that should, but won't be finalists for the Jack Adams trophy at season's end
Yahoo Sports' Greg Wyshynski salutes five coaches that should, but won't be finalists for the Jack Adams trophy at season's end