Make no mistake, last night's loss where the Stars blew a 2-0 lead to one of the worst teams in the NHL hurt. They missed out on grabbing a three point lead on the Coyotes with four games to play and could've reduced their magic number down to 5 forcing the Coyotes to pick up two points on them in the next three games just to make Game 82 meaningful.
Still, it's important to remember this much. The Stars officially hold the tiebreaker on the Coyotes, effectively giving them a 1.5 point lead on Phoenix.
On a sidenote, I hate whenever analysts overstate the importance of a tiebreaker. You may hear some say 'the Stars effectively have a two point lead on Phoenix because they hold the tiebreaker.'
This isn't true because if the Coyotes make up two points on the Stars in the standings...they'll have a one point lead. But I digress.
The schedule is littered with results where we're already looking back and saying, "If they had just won of these games..."
Guess what? They're doing that in Phoenix the last two weeks after dropping shootout decisions at home to Winnipeg and Edmonton.
Phoenix would have a very valuable one point lead over Dallas if they had found a way to beat Winnipeg and Edmonton at home. And keep in mind they blew a lead against the Oilers in the final minute Friday night.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, no Bob. Yesterday's loss doesn't virtually guarantee it'll come down to next week in Glendale. If the Stars outpoint the Coyotes over the next three games by a point, Game 82 is still rendered meaningless.
On to the links, where the Coyotes are fretting just as much as the Stars and we wonder how much of a hit the Stars took to their playoff chances with last night's loss:
- In case you think the Stars fanbase is the only despondent fanbase in this playoff race, the Coyotes are trying to figure out how they went 0-2-2 in their last four games after picking up 5 of 6 on an East coast road trip. [Craig Morgan/Fox Sports Arizona]
- Just how much of a hit did Dallas take to their playoff chances? According to SportsClubStats, it was 11.7%. The good news? They still have about 3 out of 4 chance to still make it in. [SportsClubStats]
- SportsClubStats also says that Phoenix will have to finish at least 2-0-2 just to have a greater than 50% chance of making the playoffs. That said, their methodology doesn't necessarily take into account Game 82 in this specific case.And 2-0-2 at this point would leave the Yotes at 92 points. [SportsClubStats]
- Who ya gonna call? [Mike Heika/Dallas Morning News]
- In New York, the annual charity hockey game between New York's Finest and New York's Bravest was held at Nassau Coliseum. What unfolded during the game was reminiscent of a scene in one of my favorite episodes from "Rescue Me" as both teams engaged in a bench clearing brawl. [Yahoo!/Puck Daddy - Deadspin]
- In spite of the terrible result last night, At least Jamie Benn provided us a highlight reel goal 45 seconds into last night's game.