Since we've all been punched in the gut enough this week, I won't further depress you with how the playoff race could have looked for the Dallas Stars if that puck hadn't have found it's way to Teemu Selanne's stick with five seconds left in regulation.
No, I'm here to lift you up and tell you that despite all that went wrong for the Stars this week both in the game they played as well as the ones played by all the playoff contenders around them, win and they're in.
That's right, they won't need help from anyone...
Losing to Nashville on Saturday night would change all of that, of course, but I repeat myself about not depressing you.
On to the updated point projection stats...
First thing you'll notice is I've added a 'y' next to Vancouver for clinching the Northwest Division and an 'e' next to Colorado and Edmonton. I don't think you need me to explain what it stands for.
Calgary hasn't been eliminated by projected points yet, but hockey's version of the grim reaper is at their doorstep.. Assuming Anaheim keeps picking up points at their up-to-date pace for the season, the Flames would need to go 5-0-1 in their final 6 games.
Of course, keep in mind that the Ducks have been picking up points at a hotter clip recently than what they've done over the entire season.
Furthermore, the Ducks are projected to hit 96 points. Dallas is currently projected to hit 97. And a Stars win on Saturday moves that up to 98 points. And since the most number of points Calgary can pick up at this point is just 97...
Yeah, Calgary's pretty much done. Now with that out of the way.
You may have noticed in a few of our comment threads that even after the loss to the Ducks on Wednesday, the Stars still have control of their own destiny. I checked it and sure enough, they did. And that was before the Nashville Predators hung on to beat the Ducks 5-4 last night.
An important stat to remember going into tomorrow night's crucial tilt in Nashville is that the Stars and Predators can max out at 104 points. Obviously, it's a statistical impossibility that they'll both hit that point mark since, well, they've got one head to head meeting left this season and it occurs on Saturday night.
But that should also underscore just how important it'll be down the stretch in these head to head meetings to not just get two points, but to also deny the opposition from getting any points.
Furthermore, while the Kings beating the Sharks last night was a source of late night frustration, San Jose WAS able to make the Kings work an extra five minutes of OT to deny them the enjoyment of an added win to the ROW column.
As of right now, the Stars and Kings are tied in ROW with 33 wins. Not to mention, the Stars have two games in hand on the Predators and a game in hand on the Kings with one head to head meeting left with LA.
What that means is if Dallas can win both head to head meetings with the Predators and Kings in regulation and can win the game in hand they'll have on Nashville, they'll technically be tied with both teams.
And they'll also go back in front of the Ducks in the standings.
See kids? Everything is still right in front of them.
It's also right in front of the Phoenix Coyotes. At least on the ice, anyway. With the Kings 4-3 SO win coupled with Phoenix' 3-0 shutout of Columbus, Phoenix moved to within two points of the Pacific Division leading Sharks.
Now while the Sharks do have a game in hand on Phoenix, both teams will play each other three times over the final 16 games of the season starting with a Saturday night tilt in the desert.