NHL Playoff Death Watch: Leafs among East eliminations; Coyotes in trouble

Greg Wyshynski
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.

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ stirring overtime win over the Phoenix Coyotes, after an Oliver Ekman-Larsson goal with less than a minute in regulation tied it, has major ripples around the NHL.

Fare thee well Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Carolina Hurricanes, all eliminated on Tuesday night.

The Capitals’ win over the Blues kept them alive, with a tragic number of two, same as the Devils.

In the West, the Coyotes’ loss and the Wild’s shootout win locked Minnesota into the first wild card spot and a first round meeting with either the Ducks or the Sharks. The Stars meanwhile moved two points ahead of Phoenix with their shootout win.

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

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/90/33 (1H/2A)




Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/89/36 (3A)




Washington Capitals

9th/85/26 (2H/1A)




New Jersey Devils

10th/84/34 (2H/1A)




The Jackets are right back at it on Wednesday with their “Rich Peverley” game in Dallas, starting with a 1-0 lead. They’d need help, but there’s still a chance they can catch the Flyers (91 points) for third in the Metro.

The Red Wings’ win kept them a point up on Columbus and are in Pittsburgh tonight.

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 (2H/1A)




Phoenix Coyotes

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




The Wild are locked into the first wild card, everyone else is eliminated and it’s down to the Stars and Coyotes for the last slot.

Dallas has Columbus at home, St. Louis at home and at Phoenix; the Coyotes are in Nashville and against San Jose before their showdown with the Stars.