NHL Playoff Death: Wings, Jackets clinch; Devils, Caps done

Walking Death Watch
Walking Death Watch

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

Fare thee well, New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals. Especially you, Washington Capitals, as you enter you Canucks-like phase of overreaction after a rare playoff miss …

The Blue Jackets’ win over Dallas last night clinched their first playoff spot since 2009, made life interesting for the Coyotes and closed Columbus in on the Flyers.

Detroit’s shootout loss to the Penguins clinched a playoff spot for them for the 23rd straight season, although it dropped them down to the second wild card – meaning a first-rounder against the Bruins.

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:


Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1st Wild Card

% Chance of 2nd Wild Card B

Philadelphia Flyers

3rd IN METRO /91/38 (1H/2A)




Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/91/37 (2A)




Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/91/33 (1H/1A)




The Flyers are at Tampa Bay tonight, then at Pittsburgh and then host Carolina. Columbus is at Tampa and at Florida to end their season. They need some help, because of the tie-breaker situation, but the Jackets hold the head-to-head tie-breaker due to their season series win.

The Flyers have a 59-percent chance of finishing third in the Metro.

Columbus and the Flyers are also two points in back of the Rangers (93) who hold an advantage in ROW (4). They end against Buffalo tonight and then at Montreal.

Detroit is at Carolina and then closes at St. Louis on what should be a day of rest for the Blues.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference:


Place/Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/96/34 (2H)




Dallas Stars

WILD CARD 2/89/35 (1H/1A)




Phoenix Coyotes

9th/87/30 (2H/1A)




The door swings open yet again for Phoenix.

The Coyotes are in Nashville tonight with a chance to tie the Stars in points. They host San Jose before facing Dallas in the season finale.

The Stars host the Blues on Friday and then travel to Phoenix.

The top of the conference is as uncertain. The Ducks (112) clinched the Pacific and moved ahead of the Blues for the conference lead. But the Blues (111) have a game in-hand. Don’t sleep on the Avs (109), as they’re at 109 points and three in back of Anaheim with a game in-hand. They also face the Ducks in the season finale, because the NHL schedule-makers are baller like that.

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