2012 NHL Playoffs: Anaheim Ducks Season Is Over...Almost

Or maybe the Ducks' hamster is dead.


Razor's classic Razorism from way back when was the first thing to pop into my head on this glorious day where we return to daylight savings time for some strange reason. Maybe Arizona and that sliver of Indiana have it right, but I digress.

Also, for those of you joining the Stars bandwagon from the Mavs bandwagon, the line forms to the right.

Another week of games gone by went without a Stars loss. Last week, we were talking about their chances of just making the playoffs. We were excited by the run, but with games coming up against Vancouver and San Jose, there was the expectation that this thing might come back to Earth a bit and the Stars would be left fighting for their playoff lives amongst a gaggle of teams.

Instead, they put together arguably their best game of the three game Western Canada road swing against what was at the time the Best in the West (that honor, or honour, now belongs to the equally hot St. Louis Blues) and then rallied against a Sharks team that had pwn3d them the last five times those teams met.

And then for good measure, the Stars pushed the Ducks to the edge of the playoff cliff Saturday night. All that and more after the jump.

First, a look at the point totals needed to clinch certain seeds. To get these numbers, I had to sort by Projected Points followed by ROW. Hence the reason this table shows Dallas in 6th. Obviously if the Stars win the Pacific, they'll get the third seed by virtue of being division champion:

Rank Team Div GP GR W L OT PTS ROW Proj
Pts Rem 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th
1 St. Louis CEN 69 13 44 18 7 95 40 113 52 121 26 18 14 13 10 1 1 Clinch Clinch
2 Vancouver NW 69 13 42 19 8 92 35 109 50 118 26 21 17 16 13 4 4 1 Clinch
3 Detroit CEN 69 13 44 22 3 91 37 108 52 117 26 22 18 17 14 5 5 2 1
4 Nashville CEN 68 14 40 21 7 87 37 105 48 115 28 26 22 21 18 9 9 6 5
5 Chicago CEN 69 13 37 25 7 81 33 96 44 107 26 Elim Elim Elim 24 15 15 12 11
6 Dallas PAC 69 13 38 26 5 81 32 96 45 107 26 Elim Elim Elim 24 15 15 12 11
7 Phoenix PAC 69 13 34 25 10 78 29 93 40 104 26 Elim Elim Elim Elim 18 18 15 14
8 San Jose PAC 67 15 33 25 9 75 27 92 40 105 30 Elim Elim Elim 30 21 21 18 17
9 Calgary NW 68 14 31 25 12 74 28 89 37 102 28 Elim Elim Elim Elim 22 22 19 18
10 Los Angeles PAC 68 14 31 25 12 74 27 89 37 102 28 Elim Elim Elim Elim 22 22 19 18
11 Colorado NW 70 12 36 30 4 76 28 89 42 100 24 Elim Elim Elim Elim 20 20 17 16
12 Minnesota NW 68 14 29 29 10 68 22 82 35 96 28 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim 25 24
13 Anaheim PAC 69 13 29 30 10 68 26 81 34 94 26 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim 25 24
14 Edmonton NW 68 14 26 35 7 59 22 71 31 87 28 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim
15 Columbus CEN 68 14 22 39 7 51 19 62 27 79 28 Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim Elim

Congratulations to St. Louis and Vancouver. You've unofficially officially clinched playoff spots. Even if Calgary were to go on a 14-0-0 run, they would not be able to match the projected point totals of the Canucks and Blues.

In case you're wondering, the actual magic numbers to clinch for the Blues and Canucks are 8 and 11 respectively. Though St. Louis' ROW would be insurmountable with any combination of Blues 2 wins in regulation/OT and Calgary losses/SO wins. But that math is too complicated to warrant a discussion here. Not when the Blues and Nucks will probably make that irrelevant this week.

And sorry to tell fans of the Oilers and Blue Jackets. But just like last week, you're still not getting in.

It should be pointed out that the three point lead that Dallas has on 2nd place Phoenix doesn't constitute a stranglehold in my book. Especially with as streaky as the Coyotes have been.

But it has put the Stars in a position where they'd need just 11 points in their next 13 games if the cut line remains 93 points, where San Jose is at. That having been said, I don't think the cut line will remain there. And I don't think the Stars are going to peter out at 93 points for the season.

For one, I'm not convinced San Jose is as bad as they've shown these last few weeks. On the Fenwick team metrics, they're the best in the Pacific and among the best in the NHL for some of the key 5on5 metrics. FYI, the Stars are among the middle of the pack. And in case you're wondering, this is the same metric that Derek Zona from Copper n Blue used to tell Wild fans their hot start early in the year wasn't going to last.

Which it didn't. But back to San Jose.

I didn't watch their game last night in the desert. But all three goals they gave up in regulation to the Stars were a result of their defense either getting out-muscled as a Star was marauding to the net, or in the case of Michael Ryder's goal, offering token resistance as he sped past the blue line on a partial breakaway. They'll have to fix that before the Fenwick team metrics start to matter.

But fear not oh followers of the fin!

Recent Cup champions Chicago and Detroit had nosedives this time of the year during their Stanley Cup campaigns before getting the ship righted. And Boston lost it's first two playoff games at home to Montreal before rallying to win that series in seven en route to the Cup last year. So there's still time to get things pointed in the right direction.

And besides, the loss of Matt Duchene to the Avs is going to be Colorado's death knell to their playoff hopes, I'm afraid. Even though they technically hold down the 8th and final playoff spot, San Jose has three games in hand on them to make up one point.

And as for the two teams who battled it out for Western Conference supremacy way back in 2003, they'll pretty much both have to run the table to epic proportions (that we'll tell our grandchildren if it happens but it probably won't) to make the playoffs seeing as how the Wild can only top out at 96 points and the Ducks can top out at 94.

Dallas gets a chance to put Minny in the Elim category for all 8 seeds on this spreadsheet on Tuesday night. Assuming Calgary doesn't do it tonight.

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