NHL Playoff Death Watch: We’re a little worried about Winnipeg

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

We’re a little worried about the Jets, you guys.

The Winnipeg Jets (88 points) currently hold the final Wild Card in the West, having lost to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. But with the Los Angeles Kings’ (86 points) win over the Rangers and the fact they have a game in-hand, the Kings (67.7) now have a better chance of making the playoffs than do the Jets (63.9).

That said, the Jets still have a better chance of finishing in the last wild card (49) than do the Kings (19). What the what? Well, the Kings have designs on the No. 3 seed in the Pacific, as do the Calgary Flames (86 points), who also have a game in-hand over the Jets.

The bottom line: The Jets have a math problem. They lead both the Flames and Kings, but don’t control their own destiny because their ROW (31) won’t top that of the Flames (36) and Kings (34).

Oh, and their schedule the rest of the way? There’s one non-playoff team on there: At the Colorado Avalanche, in Game No. 81. The Kings have at least four, including two against the tanking Oilers. The Flames have three, including the Oilers and the Coyotes.

So we’re a little worried about the Jets, you guys…

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:

Montreal’s overtime loss to the Preds made them the first 100-point team in the NHL. Habs vs. Sens in the first round? Yes, please. 

Oh, the poor Panthers. They roared back against the Lightning, only to fall short and lose in regulation. They’re now five points out of the wild card, and Ottawa has a game in-hand. Again, they still have two left with Boston and one left with the Sens. But the Cats really needed that one last night.

The Islanders (93 points) and Penguins (91) both earned a charity point, but the Pens have a game in-hand with home ice in Round 1 on the line. The Capitals are three back and don’t have a game against the Penguins left.

Quiet night in the East as the Flyers host the Blackhawks.

Meanwhile, in the West …

Don’t write off Nashville yet! The Preds (98 points) trail the Blues (99) and the Ducks (99) by a single point for the top spot in the conference, holding the tie-breaker over both teams. Which means they could avoid the Blackhawks in the first round. Which is advisable.

The Flames host the Dallas Stars, who are clinging to playoff life. It’s a huge one for Calgary, as it’s their last home game until Game No. 80, with five games on the road. And the Flames are 21-13-4 at home.

The Avs play Edmonton, because someone has to. 

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