Puck Daddy - NHL

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 good news is that we're only a few games away from witnessing the greatest annual tournament in sports, in all its brutal glory. The bad news is that we're going to have to start saying goodbye to some friends. Although the fact that the Calgary Flames' playoff chances are now in need of an iron lung to survive probably isn't "bad" news to their Western Conference rivals …

With that, welcome to Puck Daddy's Stanley Cup Playoffs Death Watch 2011.

According to Sports Club Stats, the aforementioned Flames saw their playoff probability tumble 11.2 percent after their 6-3 loss at the San Jose Sharks.

They're still only two points out of the No. 8 seed, but the schedule's working against them. From Post Media:

"It's six games, our goal is to win out," said Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla(notes), minutes after his dreary club's 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks in National Hockey League action Wednesday at HP Pavilion.

"But we've got to play a lot better, a lot harder, a lot more confident, than we're playing right now. We're going to have to sharpen up and give ourselves an opportunity to win the games. Tonight we didn't do that. The biggest thing, we're going to have to give ourselves opportunities. You're going to have to get good breaks, too, but we're going to have to create those breaks and work harder to get them."

Coming up, the playoff pictures for the East and West, as we shift the focus to playoff seeding. The full NHL standings and schedules can be found on Y! Sports.

All playoff percentages are from Sports Club Stats; the Tragic Number is from NHL Standings and Magic Numbers. The former is an industry standard; the latter is a site we discovered last year. Also: For the Percentage Chance of Making the Playoffs, we've included the figures from Hockey-Reference.com (HR), which is crunching its own numbers. It's listed with the percentage from Sports Club Stats (SCS).

Before you ask, check here for the Magic/Tragic number explanation. According to Zorak, the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers are eliminated, while the Ottawa Senators' tragic number is one. Sports Club Stats has the Senators eliminated.

Here's the playoff picture for the Eastern Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
New York Rangers (74) 7th/40-30-4/84 -- 96.5 (SCS)

95.3 (HR)

49 23
Buffalo Sabres (73) 8th/36-28-9 81 -- 79.3 (SCS)

81.4 (HR)

22 50
Carolina Hurricanes (73) 9th/34-29-10/78 16 22.6 (SCS)

21.2 (HR)

3 19
Toronto Maple Leafs (74) 10th/33-31-10/76 12 1.9 (SCS)

2.3 (HR)

0 2
Atlanta Thrashers (72) 11th/30-30-12/72 12 0.2 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

0 0
New Jersey Devils (73) 12th/34-35-4/72 10 0.1 (SCS)

0.2 (HR)

0 0
New York Islanders (74) 13th/29-33-12/70 6 0.0 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

-- 0
Florida Panthers (74) 14th/29-35-10/68 4 0.0 (SCS)

0.0 (HR)

-- 0

The intrigue for tonight's games is at the top of the conference, with the Montreal Canadiens at the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers facing the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Habs begin the day three points in back of the Bruins, who have two games in-hand. The Flyers are one point ahead of the Capitals for the conference lead and five points ahead of the Penguins for the division lead, with a game in-hand on Pittsburgh.

Here's the Western Conference:

Team (Games) Place/Record/Pts. Tragic # % Chance of Playoffs % Chance of 7th % Chance of 8th
Phoenix Coyotes (75) 4th/40-24-11/91 -- 94.9 (SCS)

93.4 (HR)

15 10
Chicago Blackhawks (73) 5th/40-25-8/88 -- 92.4 (SCS)

91.0 (HR)

15 11
Los Angeles Kings (73) 6th/41-26-6/88 -- 89.0 (SCS)

90.4 (HR)

16 14
Nashville Predators (74) 7th/39-25-10/88 -- 84.1 (SCS)

83.1 (HR)

20 18
Anaheim Ducks (73) 8th/41-27-5/87 -- 72.3 (SCS)

77.2 (HR)

17 20
Dallas Stars (73) 9th/38-25-10/86 17 61.2(SCS)

58.9 (HR)

15 22
Calgary Flames (76) 10th/37-28-11/85 10 6.1 (SCS)

5.8 (HR)

1 5
Minnesota Wild (74) 11th/35-31-8/78 8 0.1 (SCS)

0.2 (HR)

0 0
Columbus Blue Jackets (73) 12th/33-29-11/77 9 0.1 (SCS)

0.1 (HR)

0 0

As usual, every night is insane in the West. Example: If the Phoenix Coyotes win in regulation tonight against the Blue Jackets, their playoff probability jumps to 97.6 percent. If they lose in regulation, it falls to 89.8.

If the Kings beat the Sharks at home in regulation, their probability increases to 93.7 percent. A loss at home in regulation? Down to 82.1 percent.

There is no safe harbor in the Western Conference for teams that aren't leading their divisions.

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