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 were 3.7 second away from another point in the standings, another nail in the coffin of the teams chasing them for the last wild card spot. Instead, the Chicago Blackhawks sent them to a regulation loss that decreased the Jackets’ playoff chances to 78.9 percent.
Meanwhile, they gave the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils faint playoff hope.
Both teams probably have to win out and hope for help; in Toronto’s case, a lot of help, because the Jackets and Devils both have a game in-hand and own the ROW tie-breaker with Toronto.
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)
% Chance 1st Wild Card
% Chance of 2nd Wild Card B
WILD CARD 1/88/32 (1H/4A)
Columbus Blue Jackets
WILD CARD 2/85/34 (2H/3A)
Toronto Maple Leafs
New Jersey Devils
The Red Wings face Montreal at Bell Centre, coming off their win over Buffalo that further cemented them in the first Wild Card. It’s looking more and more like a Detroit vs. Pittsburgh playoff opener, which should do OK in the ratings.
The Leafs host Winnipeg, while the Devils are in Carolina. Both have a chance to gain ground on the idle Jackets, and both have a tragic number of seven.
The Capitals will try to jumpstart their own playoff push again at the Islanders, although the Caps now have just a 1.2 percent chance of making the postseason.
Meanwhile in the Western Conference:
Place/Pts./ROW (Games Remaining)
% Chance Wild Card A
% Chance of Wild Card B
WILD CARD 1/90/32 (4H/1A)
WILD CARD 2/86/30 (2H/2A)
The Coyotes’ shootout loss to the lowly Oilers inched them back into the final wild card, but the Stars have two games in-hand, own the tie-breaker and face Phoenix in the season finale.
The Minnesota Wild face the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Stars are in Tampa Bay. Nashville and Vancouver can both be formally eliminated tonight with regulation losses to San Jose or the LA Kings respectively, or if the Stars win and they lose in overtime.
In the Presidents’ Trophy race, the St. Louis Blues (111) host Colorado while Boston Bruins (111 points) host the Flyers. The Anaheim Ducks (108) are idle and lead the Sharks by a point for the Pacific Division title i.e. avoiding the Kings in the first round.