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.

The Colorado Avalanche and Montreal Canadiens saw their playoff probabilities slide with losses on Monday night, but one's clearly in better shape than the other.

The races being as tight as they are, Colorado fans might look back on T.J. Galiardi's goal at 19:50 of the third period at the Los Angeles Kings as a key moment in the season. The charity point the Avs earned in the overtime loss only decreased their chances of making the playoffs by 0.2 percent according to Sports Club Stats; a regulation loss may have made the Western Conference standings a tad more interesting, as the Detroit Red Wings don't appear to be leaving their playoff seed any time soon.

Montreal, however, saw its playoff probability drop by 5.3 percent after its 2-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators. It will drop again if the Atlanta Thrashers win what amounts to a playoff game against the Boston Bruins Tuesday night.

The advantage for Montreal: It has 36 wins at the moment to Atlanta's 32, so the Thrash would likely have to place ahead of the Habs in points to avoid losing in the tiebreaker. Not in the Habs' favor: Atlanta's schedule, which is loaded with winnable games and April games against teams that may have nothing to play for (Capitals, Devils, Penguins). The Habs have to close with the Leafs. Who hate them. And don't have a lottery pick. Good luck with that.

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 (71)

8th/32-27-12/76

-

69.5 (SCS) 70.9 (HR)

21

28

Atlanta Thrashers (72)

9th/32-29-11/75

20

37.9 (SCS) 37.2 (HR)

11

21

New York Rangers (72)

10th/31-32-9/71

16

7.1 (SCS) 7.5 (HR)

1

5

Florida Panthers (71)

11th/29-31-11/69

16

3.5 (SCS) 3.9 (HR)

1

3

Carolina Hurricanes (72)

12th/30-34-8/68

13

0.7 (SCS) 1.2 (HR)

0

1

New York Islanders (72)

13th/29-33-10/68

13

0.4 (SCS) 0.8 (HR)

0

0

Tampa Bay Lightning (72)

14th/28-32-12/68

13

0.4 (SCS) 0.8 (HR)

0

0

Toronto Maple Leafs (72)

15th/26-34-12/64

9

0.0 (SCS) 0.0 (HR)

0

0

Again, the Boston game will potentially reshuffle the deck in the East, or it will drop the Thrashers' playoff chances all the way down to 21 percent.

How big is this game? The Ice Man calls it the biggest in three years for the Thrashers, and rallies the troops:

We can gripe ... we can bitch ... we can moan ... we can complain ... we can insist changes be made ... we can demand accountability when things go as wrong as they have for far too long . That's a fan's right. But when this type of game at this juncture of the season comes around after so long a time ... if you don't at least WANT to be a part of it in person, then go on and watch Lost or American Idol or ... ahem ... Biggest Loser.

But if you are indeed a real, honest-and-for-true fan of NHL hockey and the Atlanta Thrashers, and if you have the financial and logistical means to be in Philips Arena on Tuesday night March 23, 2010 ... well, then get your ticket now and plant your backside in a seat then. But don't expect to spend too much time in it ... not the way these guys are playing right now.

Here's the West after the huge Red Wings victory Monday night:

Team (Games)

Place/Record/Pts.

Tragic #

% Chance of Playoffs

% Chance of 7th

% Chance of 8th

Detroit Red Wings (72)

8th/ 36-23-13/85

-

88.4 (SCS) 86.9 (HR)

25

43

Calgary Flames(72)

9th/36-27-9/81

17

13.5 (SCS) 14.3 (HR)

2

11

St. Louis Blues (72)

10th/34-29-9/77

13

1.8 (SCS) 2.9 (HR)

0

2

Anaheim Ducks (71)

11th/34-29-8/76

12

1.4 (SCS) 1.7 (HR)

0

1

Minnesota Wild (72)

12th/35-31-6/76

14

0.5 (SCS) 0.6 (HR)

0

0

Dallas Stars (72)

13th/31-27-14/76

12

0.2 (SCS) 0.2 (HR)

0

0

Columbus Blue Jackets (72)

14th/29-31-12/70

6

0.0 (SCS) 0.0 (HR)

0

0

The Wings are starting to run away with it.

With a loss to the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday, the Flames' slim playoff chances drop to 6.5 percent according to Sports Club Stats. Anaheim should be ferocious, what with that 1 percent chance at the eight seed staring them in the face ...

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