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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Red Wings solidify hold on wild card; Coyotes struggle

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 Detroit Red Wings are exhibiting that killer instinct that comes from a veteran team, or at least a team that is born of a wining legacy.

Their comeback win over Boston on Wednesday night gave them a 64-percent chance of winning the first wild card spot. Said Jimmy Howard:

“It’s a good confidence-booster, not only for myself but everyone,” he said after the 3-2 win. “They’re one of the best teams in the league. For us to come back and grit out a win like that is huge. Being as young as we are in this dressing room, hearing the place erupt like that just fires ’em all up.”

The Wings have overcome their injury problems to thrive in the East. The Phoenix Coyotes, however, continue to struggle without starting goalie Mike Smith, losing 4-0 to the LA Kings and watching their playoff chances drop to 23.1 percent.

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 1/86/31 (2H/4A)

-

64

27

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/83/33 (3H/4A)

-

24

43

Toronto Maple Leafs

9th/80/28 (2H/3A)

9

1

6

Washington Capitals

10th/81/25 (2H/4A)

10

1

6

New Jersey Devils

11th/80/32 (4H/2A)

9

2

11

Ottawa Senators

12th/78/27 (3H/3A)

7

0

1

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/77/32 (3H/4A)

6

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/72/24(2H/5A)

1

-

0

The pressure returns to the Blue Jackets tonight, as they’re in Philly before hosting Chicago on Friday. If they earn a point, the Islanders are officially eliminated.

The Leafs are hosting Boston tonight, who should be nice and surly.

The Rangers are in Denver to take on the Avs, leading the Flyers by three points (90-87) although Philly has two games in-hand.

The Lightning are hosting Calgary with a chance to move ahead of Montreal for home ice in the first round.

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 1/89/32 (4H/2A)

-

64

31

Dallas Stars

WILD CARD 2/85/34 (3H/4A)

 

32

50

Phoenix Coyotes

9th/85/30 (3H/2A)

10

9

19

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (4H/1A)

4

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

11th/78/27 (3H/2A)

3

-

0

Nashville Predators

12th/77/31 (2H/4A)

4

0

0

The Stars are in Raleigh to face Carolina, with one of their games in-hand on the Coyotes. The Wild are in Chicago, and now have a 95-percent chance at making the playoffs.

Any combination of three points gained by the Stars or lost by the Jets, who play the Penguins, will eliminate Winnipeg.

The Sharks are in LA, trailing the Ducks by three points (108-105) for the top seed in the division. The Ducks have a game in-hand.

St. Louis is in Buffalo to take on the Sabres, trailing the Bruins by a point for the Presidents’ Trophy with a game in-hand.

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