Although missing the playoffs seemed inevitable after an eight game losing streak, the Dallas Stars were mathematically still in the hunt. Entering April, they had only a 0.02% chance to make the postseason, but there was technically still a chance they could pull it off.
As of last night, however, the Stars have officially been eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Anaheim Ducks overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Colorado Avalanche to win 4-3 in overtime, placing them in the 3rd Pacific spot with 95 points. That means the two wild-card spots are held by the Los Angeles Kings (94 points) and the Avalanche (93 points), with the St. Louis Blues (92 points) just behind them.
Even if the Stars win out, they can only get a maximum of 94 points. And since the Avalanche and Blues play each other for their final games of the season, that means there will be at least 8 teams with 94 points or more at the end of the regular season. The Stars would lose a tiebreaker with all three teams, thus have been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention.
With the Stars’ draft position likely not changing based on the final 3 games of the season, fans can safely cheer for the team as they head to California for one final road trip before putting a disappointing season behind them.
In case that opening made you sad, here are some things to cheer you up! First, relive the Stars most recent win over the Minnesota Wild:
With Mike Modano still fresh on everyone’s minds, Mike Heika discusses how Ken Hitchcock’s time with the Stars legend helped him with Tyler Seguin this year. [SportsDay DFW]
Speaking of Seguin, he and John Klingberg have been playing a lot this year:
Tyler Seguin and John Klingberg making necessary adjustments to make most of expanded ice time https://t.co/BhFxaqOX4M— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 1, 2018
Around the League
The Colorado Avalanche weren’t the only the only Central team to play last night; the Nashville Predators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1, and are now one point away from clinching the top seed in the Western Conference. [On the Forecheck]
Surprisingly, losing might not have been the worst thing to happen to the Lightning last night:
And while we’re talking about them, Tampa Bay signed Cal Foote to his ELC yesterday:
With the regular season coming to a close, Craig Morgan looks at which players might be taking home some hardware this year. [FanRag Sports]
The NHL announced its three stars for March, and it shouldn’t surprise you that Connor McDavid leads the pack:
In case you’re still upset, here’s a reminder that things could be a lot worse:
Tyler Seguin has 40 goals.— Christian Pagnani (@chrispagnani) April 2, 2018
Taylor Hall is in Hart Trophy conversation.
Blake Wheeler is on pace for 91 points.
Phil Kessel is on pace for 90 points.
Mat Barzal is the runaway Calder favourite.
Has any other GM in the league given up the talent Peter Chiarelli has?