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.

After their win over the Colorado Avalanche last night, there is now a 3.2-percent chance the Toronto Maple Leafs make the Eastern Conference playoffs and a 3-percent chance they'll be the No. 8 seed.

OK, so the odds remain long, they're three points out and Buffalo has two games in-hand, and their next three games -- at Detroit, vs. Buffalo and at Boston -- aren't exactly tap-ins.

But as rookie/goalie/MVP/Optimus James Reimer told Eat Sleep Leafs:

"You scoreboard-watch a little bit and you hope and pray that other teams help you out," said Reimer, "but all you can control is what you do and how you play and what you do on the ice. Right now we're just trying to focus in here and take care of our business and hopefully we can squeak in there."

Pension Plan Puppets has the recap.

Meanwhile, the Atlanta Thrashers continue to linger in the East race, seven points out of the No. 8 seed with nine games left to play. Too steep a climb? Don't tell that to Thrasher Backer:

The Atlanta Thrashers had a lot to prove tonight, not just to us, the fans. Not just to Ramsay and crew. But to themselves individually as well as their teammates. Tonight this team showed us a piece of a dream. A dream Atlanta has been believing in for a long time. Tonight they showed us a group of men who knew how to play hockey. Tonight they played like professionals ready for the challenge. Tonight they played like they were in the playoffs.

"History Never says Never…"

Sports Club Stats says they have a 0.3-percent chance at making the playoffs.

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. 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 last year. 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).

Check here for the Magic/Tragic number explanation.

Here's the playoff picture for the Eastern Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
New York Rangers (75) 7th/40-30-5/85 -- 94.8 (SCS)

95.7 (HR)

49 23
Buffalo Sabres (73) 8th/36-28-9 81 -- 78.9 (SCS)

78.9 (HR)

22 50
Carolina Hurricanes (73) 9th/34-29-10/78 16 23.5 (SCS)

20.2 (HR)

3 19
Toronto Maple Leafs (75) 10th/34-31-10/78 12 3.2 (SCS)

4.2 (HR)

0 2
Atlanta Thrashers (73) 11th/31-30-12/74 12 0.3 (SCS)

1.3 (HR)

0 0
New Jersey Devils (73) 12th/34-35-4/72 10 0.1 (SCS)

0.4 (HR)

0 0
New York Islanders (75) 13th/29-34-12/70 4 0.0 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

-- 0
Florida Panthers (74) 14th/29-35-10/68 4 0.0 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

-- 0

The Buffalo Sabres return to action tonight to face the Panthers, and a win in regulation increases their playoff chances to 84.8 according to SCS.

Here's the Western Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Phoenix Coyotes (76) 4th/41-24-11/93 -- 97.8 (SCS)

96.4 (HR)

15 10
Los Angeles Kings (74) 5th/42-26-6/90 -- 93.1 (SCS)

95.6 (HR)

15 11
Nashville Predators (75) 6th/40-25-10/90 -- 91.3 (SCS)

91.1 (HR)

16 14
Chicago Blackhawks (73) 7th/39-25-10/88 -- 92.0 (SCS)

91.6 (HR)

20 18
Anaheim Ducks (74) 8th/41-28-5/87 -- 59.0 (SCS)

64.5 (HR)

17 20
Dallas Stars (73) 9th/38-25-10/86 17 60.8 (SCS)

54.1 (HR)

15 22
Calgary Flames (76) 10th/37-28-11/85 10 6.1 (SCS)

7.1 (HR)

1 5
Minnesota Wild (74) 11th/35-31-8/78 8 0.1 (SCS)

0.1 (HR)

0 0
Columbus Blue Jackets (74) 12th/33-30-11/77 6 0.0 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

0 0

The Ducks' loss to the Predators in regulation last night dropped their chances by 13.3 percent while increasing the Dallas Stars' chances by 7.2 percent.

If the playoffs started today, they'd look like this. The Kings and Coyotes would meet in the first round. Did giving up a game-tying goal to the Sharks with five seconds left upset Kings Coach Terry Murray?

"I'm not disappointed and I'm not surprised that stuff like that happens. I'm watching games in this league right now and it is incredible what is happening late in games, overtimes, shootouts. We would certainly love to have it shut down, when you have a faceoff at the offensive blue line, offside dot with 11 seconds left. You'd like to feel that you can do that every time, but things do happen. They've got some very good players and they came, they just rushed us with five, six guys and got the bounce that they needed."

Last night's Western Conference shuffle put the Blackhawks in a first-rounder against the Red Wings. We're salivating, too.

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