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NHL Playoff Death Watch: Red Wings solidify wild card; Capitals in trouble

Walking Death Watch
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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 Detroit Red Wings’ win over the Tampa Bay Lightning increased their playoff chances by 11.2 percent, up to 80.9 percent. And in the process, Mike Babcock passed Scotty Bowman in career wins as Red Wings coach.

“Scotty is the greatest coach of all time in our business. Scotty should be in a class by himself. It’s not like I want to pass Scotty Bowman,” said Babcock, weirdly.

The victory moved the Red Wings to 84 points with seven games left, three points ahead of the Washington Capitals, who fell to the Nashville Predators in a shootout.

According to CSN’s Chuck Gormley, the Caps will need to go 5-1-1 to reach that magic 92-point mark for a playoff spot. Also: “Alex Ovechkin was on the ice for two more even-strength goals, dropping him to an NHL-worst minus-34. He has not scored an even-strength goal in 15 games, the longest stretch of his career.”

Good times.

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:

Team

Place/ Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance 1st Wild Card

% Chance of 2nd Wild Card B

Detroit Red Wings

WILD CARD 1/84/30 (3H/4A)

-

47

33

Columbus Blue Jackets

WILD CARD 2/82/33 (4H/4A)

-

31

29

Washington Capitals

9th/81/25 (3H/4A)

13

5

14

Toronto Maple Leafs

10th/80/27 (3H/3A)

10

1

4

New Jersey Devils

11th/77/31 (5H/3A)

11

3

10

Ottawa Senators

12th/76/27 (6H/3A)

10

0

2

Carolina Hurricanes

13th/74/31 (4H/5A)

8

0

1

New York Islanders

14th/68/22(3H/5A)

2

-

0

The Rangers’ win and the Flyers’ shootout loss leaves New York (88) two points ahead of Philly (86), although the Flyers have two games in-hand.

The Lightning’s loss keeps them two points (93-91) in back of the Canadiens for home ice in the first round, although they still have a game in-hand.

Meanwhile in the Western Conference:

Team

Place/Record/Pts. (Games Remaining)

Tragic #

% Chance Wild Card A

% Chance of Wild Card B

Minnesota Wild

WILD CARD 1/87/31 (4H/3A)

-

51

32

Phoenix Coyotes

WILD CARD 2/84/30 (4H/3A)

-

20

32

Dallas Stars

9th/83/33 (3H/5A)

15

28

35

Vancouver Canucks

10th/79/29 (5H/1A)

7

0

0

Nashville Predators

11th/77/31 (3H/5A)

5

0

0

Winnipeg Jets

12th/75/27 (3H/4A)

5

0

0

No movement on the bubble on Sunday, but the Wild are at the LA Kings on Monday in a key game.

The Ducks (104 points) host the Jets with a chance to increase their division lead over San Jose (103) and close to within a point of idle St. Louis for the conference lead.

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