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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Nobody wants East wild cards; Stars surge ahead

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 Columbus Blue Jackets had a chance to create some breathing room on the Easter Conference bubble. But they lost to Pittsburgh.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a chance to get back into a playoff position. But they lost to Philly.

Combined with Detroit’s loss on Thursday … does anyone want this thing?

Well, we’ll learn a lot on Saturday, as all four teams with 80 points (as well as the 76-point Devils) are in action – including the Leafs and the Red Wings in a critical game for both.

So what are the chances these teams make the dance?

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

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 1/80/32 (4H/5A)

-

29

22

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 2/80/28 (4H/5A)

-

27

23

Washington Capitals

9th/80/25 (4H/5A)

18

15

20

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (4H/3A)

14

7

13

New Jersey Devils

11th/76/31 (5H/4A)

14

7

13

Ottawa Senators

12th/74/26 (6H/3A)

12

0

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/73/31 (4H/5A)

11

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/66/22(4H/5A)

4

-

0

The New York Rangers lost in Calgary and the Flyers topped the Leafs, which means Philly (85 points) is back to being one point in back of the Blueshirts (86 points) for second in the Metro – with two games in-hand.

The Islanders can be eliminated tonight if they lose to the Devils and there’s some combination of wins and losses on the playoff bubble.

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 1/85/30 (4H/4A)

-

36

38

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/84/30 (5H/3A)

-

46

31

Dallas Stars

9th/81/32 (3H/6A)

15

17

29

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (6H/1A)

9

0

3

Nashville Predators

11th/75/30 (3H/5A)

7

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

12th/75/26 (3H/5A)

5

0

0

Calgary Flames

13th/69/25 (2H/6A)

1

-

0

Huge win for the Stars, 7-3 over Nashville, both in score and in impact.

Said Colton Sceviour: “With the games in hand we’re still sitting in a good spot but games in hand only matter if you win them. We can’t really afford to lose games and fall behind so winning this game is huge. Now that we got this one, we got to focus on the next game.”

The next game is at St. Louis, who is still in prime position to win the Presidents’ Trophy (107 points). But the most important game is happening in Glendale, as the Wild visit the Coyotes in a game that’ll dramatically shape the wild card race.

The Ducks’ OT loss last night inched them up to 102 points, one behind the San Jose Sharks in the race to see who doesn’t have to play LA in the first round.

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