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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 worst thing about the Toronto Maple Leafs missing the playoffs this year is that the usual vitriol, mockery and ridicule that accompanies it seems trite. Maybe Leafs Nation has finally guilted us all into believing that 'Plan The Parade' jokes are played out (or should be reserved for the Canucks instead).

Or maybe there was something admirable about this latest failure, to the point where we're more apt to give the Buds a begrudging golf clap than to make the traditional golf quip.

From Bruce Arthur of the National Post:

That was the Leafs this season, in a nutshell. Down and out, then reaching, reaching, reaching. No, they didn't grasp the ledge, but moments like that mean something. Players like Reimer mean something. It wasn't enough this season, no, and there's no guarantee it will mean enough next season, either.

But what this Toronto Maple Leafs team has done is show more resilience, less quit, and more promise than anything the team has fielded since the Stanley Cup got mothballed. Leafs fans have suffered a long time, whether blindly or not. At the very least this season, for the first time in a long time, they were given something worth caring about.

Yuck. When do we start making Komisarek contract jokes again?

Speaking of eliminations, we could see another one tonight: The Calgary Flames are out with a regulation loss to the Edmonton Oilers or with a Chicago Blackhawks' win at home over the St. Louis Blues.

They'd have one game left, two points on the table; they could equal the Ducks and Blackhawks in points if those teams lost-out, but they both have the non-shootout win tiebreaker against the Flames.

Just another reason why tonight's game in Chicago is a must-win for the Blackhawks.

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 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).

Head here for an explanation of the Tragic Numbers.

Here's the playoff picture for the Eastern Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Montreal Canadiens


6th/43-30-7/93 -- IN (SCS)

100% (HR)

19 6
Buffalo Sabres


7th/41-29-10/92 -- 98.4 (SCS)


47 32
New York Rangers


8th/43-32-5/91 -- 93.9 (SCS)

97.5 (HR)

34 55
Carolina Hurricanes


9th/38-30-11/87 3 7.7 (SCS)

5.2 (HR)

1 7

The Hurricanes host the Red Wings tonight with a chance to close to within two points of the Rangers with four points left on the table. A regulation win is essential in this game in-hand: It would equal the Rangers' non-shootout wins at 34, and Carolina owns the next tiebreaker with New York by gaining six points in their season series to the Rangers' four.

Here's the Western Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Nashville Predators


4th/43-26-11/97 -- 99.7 (SCS)

99.9 (HR)

8 2
Phoenix Coyotes


5th/42-25-12/96 -- 99.1 (SCS)

98.8 (HR)

14 6
Los Angeles Kings


6th/45-28-6/96 -- 98.9 (SCS)

99.6 (HR)

10 5
Anaheim Ducks


7th/44-30-5/93 -- 82.4 (SCS)

85.3 (HR)

29 31
Chicago Blackhawks


8th/42-28-9/93 -- 79.8 (SCS)

87.2 (HR)

28 28
Dallas Stars


9th/40-28-11/91 5 37.4 (SCS)

25.0 (HR)

11 25
Calgary Flames


10th/40-29-11/91 2 2.6 (SCS)

4.2 (HR)

0 3

The Ducks and Sharks exchange pleasantries again tonight, and a loss would drop Anaheim's playoff probability to 68.8.

The winner of the Coyotes/Kings game tonight clinches a playoff berth.

If the playoffs started today, they'd look like this. The Red Wings and the Kings is not a matchup that a Los Angeles fan should be craving, despite their success against Detroit this season (3-1).

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