Western Conference Playoff Race Primer

When the Stars hit the ice tonight, they'll begin a stretch run of 21 games over the next 6 week that is daunting, to be sure.

Doable, but still daunting.

Just how daunting is after the jump. There's informative spreadsheets to be found!

Bland, but still informative.

Much of this should self explanatory. Point percentage is determined by taking the number of points a team has gained and dividing it by the maximum number of points they could have attained had they won all their games. Dallas sits at 68 points out of a possible 122 for a point percentage of .557.

Points per game is simply point percentage multiplied by 2.

I added 8 columns at the end to show the projected points each team in the west would have to attain in order to clinch that particular point position based on the pace the current teams in those point positions have set through the season. Right now, 91 points is the cutoff point for the 8th and final seed.

Keep in mind, however, that the three division winners are guaranteed one of the top 3 seeds, regardless of where the other non-division winning playoff teams wind up. So while Phoenix and Los Angeles could wind up with 2 of the top 3 records in the West, they'd still do no better than the 4th seed since San Jose is in their division.

So with that out of the way...

Seed Team GP W L OT PTS ProjPts
to 1st
ProjPts
to 2nd
ProjPts
to 3rd
ProjPts
to 4th
ProjPts
to 5th
ProjPts
to 6th
ProjPts
to 7th
ProjPts
to 8th
1 San Jose 62 40 13 9 89 29 30 14 16 13 12 6 4
2 Chicago 61 41 15 5 87 31 38 16 18 15 14 8 6
4 Phoenix 63 37 21 5 79 Elim 39 24 26 23 22 16 14
5 Los Angeles 61 37 20 4 78 40 41 25 27 24 23 17 15
3 Vancouver 61 37 22 2 76 42 41 27 29 26 25 19 17
6 Colorado 62 35 21 6 76 Elim Elim 27 29 26 25 19 17
7 Nashville 61 33 23 5 71 Elim Elim 32 34 31 30 24 22
8 Detroit 62 29 21 12 70 Elim Elim 33 35 32 31 25 23
9 Calgary 62 30 23 9 69 Elim Elim 34 36 33 32 26 24
10 Dallas 61 28 21 12 68 Elim Elim 35 37 34 33 27 25
11 Anaheim 62 30 25 7 67 Elim Elim 36 38 35 34 28 26
12 St. Louis 62 28 25 9 65 Elim Elim 38 40 37 36 30 28
13 Minnesota 61 30 27 4 64 Elim Elim 39 41 38 37 31 29
14 Columbus 63 25 28 10 60 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim 35 33
15 Edmonton 61 19 36 6 44 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim

 

25 points out of a possible 42 for a point percentage of .595.

That's what the Stars have to shoot for just to make the playoffs.

And oh, by the way, they still have a road trip to Pittsburgh, Washington, and Buffalo to knock out this weekend, along with home games against Ottawa and Philadelphia. A quick peek at the standings indicates that's 5 of the current top 6 teams teams in the Eastern Conference.

Throw in the fact that Detroit got quite a bit healthier during the Olympic and it shows just how crucial it will be to get wins at home this week against the Kings and Blues.

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