NHL Playoff Death Watch: LA Kings falling from throne?

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

Like a bad rash, the Flames continue to burn and just won’t go away.

Calgary’s win over the Dallas Stars on Monday night gives them 91 points and an 84.6-percent chance of making the playoffs, now with a three-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings for the No. 3 seed in the Pacific. The win brings them to 38 ROW, while the Kings have 35.

The win also has them keeping pace with the Vancouver Canucks, who also won again to move to 93 points. They have six games left, while the Flames have five.

Also with six games left: The Los Angeles Kings, and one of them is against the Flames in the second-to-last game of the season.

The key to this whole schmoz might be the Winnipeg Jets, who have 90 points with six games left. They don’t have a ROW advantage over the Kings (32). They do play Calgary in the season finale.

Here are the current standings. The Death Watch tracks the final Wild Card spot and the teams that are chasing it. Their “tragic number” is the number of points gained by the final wild card team or lost by the team chasing it.

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:

The only news last night was at the top and bottom of the conference. The Tampa Bay Lightning clinched a playoff spot and moved to within a point of Montreal’s conference lead with a win over the Habs. They can hop over them with a win at Toronto on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes played about as badly as you can without actually lying down on the ice and letting your opponent skate around you, losing to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night, 4-1. The Sabres have 50 points. The Coyotes have 54. The Sabres have six games left to the Coyotes’ five. Who can tank harder?

Huge showdown at the bubble tonight, as the Bruins host the Panthers with the Cats trailing them by four points. The teams meet against on April 9. We’re not saying the Panthers might have to win out to make it, but it sure would help.

The Senators host the Red Wings, as Andrew Hammond could return for the Sens.

The Capitals host Carolina, playing their game in-hand on the New York Islanders as they try to chase down the No. 3 seed in the Metro.

Columbus can be eliminated with any combination of a point gained or lost. They host the Devils.

Meanwhile, in the West …

Huge game for the Jets as they host the Rangers. After that it’s the Canucks at home, three tough road games (Minnesota, St. Louis and Colorado) and then Calgary at home.

Speaking of the Blues, their loss to the Canucks leaves them three points off the pace in the Central, and the Predators can make it five points with a win vs. Vancouver. But the Blues would have two games in-hand.


Does anyone think the Ducks escape Round 1 against the Jets?