Puck Daddy - NHL

 

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

Before we set the scene for the Detroit Red Wings Wedneday night, a word about the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night: "[Insert your preferred vomit sound here.]"

The 4-0 loss on home ice to the Boston Bruins wasn't a crippling blow to the Thrashers; not with their next four games against two lottery teams in the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes. (Well, technically the Bruins are a lottery team, too, thanks to Burkie.)

But Tuesday night should have been a statement to their fans and to themselves that this post-Kovalchuk playoff run was something more than an enthusiastic fluke. The Ice Man believes the pressure once again got to them:

This Thrashers team had spent the past five games working their way back to the point they found themselves in ... playing energetic and inspiring hockey ... getting to within a point of the Bruins for the 8th spot in conference ... and then played about as flat of a games as has been seen around here in quite some time in being blanked 4-0.

"We looked very nervous with the puck," coach John Anderson said afterward. "I would say in the two years I've been here, this is probably one of the most meaningful games we've played. We just weren't doing things like we have been the last few games."

While the Thrash are chasing the No. 8 seed, the Red Wings are currently in the eighth spot heading into Wednesday night's game against the St. Louis Blues. A win re-establishes some breathing room they lost to the Calgary Flames, after their win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night. A win over the Blues, and Detroit's percentage chance of making the playoffs would rise to 91.9 percent, according to Sports Club Stats.

A loss would drop that percentage to 78.7 percent; and while their fortunes couldn't be more different at the moment, this is a road game for the Blues, which means it's one they can actually win.

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; the Tragic Number is from NHL Standings and Magic Numbers. The former is an industry standard; the latter is a site we discovered this week, and are hopeful that the figures are as accurate as those from NHL Playoff Race. Also: For the Percentage Chance of Making the Playoffs, we've included the figures from Hockey-Reference.com (HR), which is crunching its own numbers. It's listed with the percentage from Sports Club Stats (SCS).

Here's the playoff picture for the Eastern Conference:

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Boston Bruins (72)

8th/33-27-12/78

-

84.5 (SCS) 86.1 (HR)

26

29

Atlanta Thrashers (73)

9th/32-30-11/75

16

19.2 (SCS) 17.7 (HR)

5

13

New York Rangers (72)

10th/31-32-9/71

14

6.9 (SCS) 6.8 (HR)

1

5

Florida Panthers (72)

11th/30-31-11/71

14

5.3 (SCS) 4.3 (HR)

1

4

Tampa Bay Lightning (73)

12th/29-32-12/70

11

0.4 (SCS) 0.6 (HR)

0

1

Carolina Hurricanes (73)

13th/30-34-9/69

10

0.7 (SCS) 0.3 (HR)

0

1

New York Islanders (72)

14th/29-33-10/68

11

0.3 (SCS) 0.2 (HR)

0

0

Toronto Maple Leafs (73)

15th/26-35-12/64

5

0.0 (SCS)   -- (HR)

0

0

Again, huge win for the Bruins, and they're sitting one point in back of both the Flyers and the Habs with a game in hand. As Mark Recchi(notes) said Tuesday: This team can go from the bubble to the sixth seed pretty fast.

The Flyers currently have a 30 percent chance of placing sixth but have as good a chance of finishing fifth as they do seventh (24 percent). The Habs, meanwhile, have a better shot at facing the Washington Capitals in round one (26 percent) than taking sixth place (22 percent).

Here's the West:

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Detroit Red Wings (72)

8th/36-23-13/85

-

87.0 (SCS) 84.2 (HR)

26

36

Calgary Flames(73)

9th/37-27-9/83

17

19.4 (SCS) 21.4 (HR)

4

15

Dallas Stars (73)

10th/32-27-14/78

12

0.4 (SCS) 0.4 (HR)

0

0

St. Louis Blues (72)

11th/34-29-9/77

13

1.9 (SCS) 3.2 (HR)

0

2

Anaheim Ducks (72)

12th/34-30-8/76

12

0.4 (SCS) 1.7 (HR)

0

1

Minnesota Wild (73)

13th/35-32-6/76

10

0.1 (SCS) 0.1 (HR)

0

0

Columbus Blue Jackets (73)

14th/29-32-12/70

4

0.0 (SCS)   - (HR)

0

0

The big flip in the West came courtesy of the San Jose Sharks' win over the Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks' victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. The 'Hawks now have a 79 percent chance of finishing first overall, while the Sharks are at 55 percent for placing second.

The Coyotes are back down to a 3 percent chance of finishing first in the conference, and have a 57 percent chance at the four seed. Which means we could be headed for a Coyotes/Kings first rounder ... even if a Kings/Sharks first rounder would have been 1,000 times more interesting.

Related Articles

Puck Daddy

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog