March 25th West Playoff Race Update

Just in case you still care, last night's loss meant the Stars probably need to gain 15 points out of 18 to have a chance to make the playoffs. I like to fancy myself as the eternal optimist, but I just don't see that happening.

So with that in mind, I decided to tinker with my spreadsheet just a bit to see how the races for the playoff seeds are going.

And because that necessitated widening the spreadsheet, I decided to upload it to Google Docs. You'll be able to keep up with it here.

But for the purposes of this blog post, I'll embed it.

Explanation

You'll notice certain cells under the PtPctRq'd field have a red background. If the cell has a red background and has '---' in it, that means that team has already clinched that seed and cannot fall to that mark. For the ones that have numbers and red backgrounds, that means that team cannot clinch that seed or any higher.

For instance, Calgary's 1 and 2 seed fields each has a red background. That means the highest seed they can clinch is the third seed.

Also, I should note that technically, the highest seed the Blackhawks can attain is the fourth seed, since seeds 1, 2, and 3 are reserved for the division champions.

Last Night's Action

Anaheim and Nashville decided they were going to screw all the teams around them by playing a three point game, which the Ducks won in a shootout.

Needless to say, Minnesota, Edmonton, and Dallas were not amused by this decision as all three teams lost in regulation.

Detroit and Vancouver didn't mind as they were direct beneficiaries of these losses. The Red Wings rallied in the third from down 2-0 to Edmonton to beat the Oilers, 3-2, while we all know what Vancouver did to the Stars.

Detroit owns a one point lead over the Sharks in the race for not only the top spot in the West, but for the President's Trophy. Boston has a comfortable five point lead in the East over everybody else out there, but they're off the pace at 102 points and five points behind the Red Wings.

Vancouver inched back into a tie with the Blackhawks for the fourth seed. A tie that would currently go to the Canucks, by virtue of the wins tiebreaker (39-38). The Blackhawks, however, have a game in hand on Vancouver. Last night's win in Dallas also allowed the Canucks to creep to within three points of the Flames, who were idle last night.

Meanwhile, the Blues pushed the Kings towards playoff projection elimination with a 2-0 win. As it stands now, the Kings can only top out at 88 points, which is the current projected cut.

Looking Ahead

  • Minnesota will get a very good chance to get back into the win column as they visit the Island tonight to take on the Islanders.
  • Calgary travels to Pittsburgh to start a quick two game road trip that will also take them to Columbus tomorrow night. They'll return home on Saturday to take on Minnesota.
  • Anaheim also figures to get a freebie in Colorado tonight after beating the Predators last night. They return home on Friday to take on the Oilers.
  • And finally, a pretty big late season tilt will faceoff at 7:30 tonight in Chicago, where the Sharks will take on the Blackhawks.
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