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Scoreboard Watching: Playoff Progress Report

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Our weekly look at whether or not the Stars are making up ground in a tight race for the Disco Division’s final playoff spot

NHL: Florida Panthers at Dallas Stars
A week of high-highs, but frustrating lows sees the Stars make up a little ground in some areas, but lose a lot of ground in others.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Stars fans all understand the situation. Mired in injury madness, subjected to weather and virus delays, the defending Western Conference Champion Dallas Stars have their work cut out for them to even make this year’s playoffs. Each week we are going to do that thing where we cover our eyes but crack two fingers open to see what progress the Stars have made.

Nuts and bolts, we will be looking at calendar weeks, Sunday-to-Saturday. The focus is on point accumulation, rather than games won, tied, or lost. The reason for this is to properly illustrate the challenge facing Dallas, aka, they need to out-accumulate at least four teams to make the big dance, and to properly account for the impact of the Loser Point. For obvious reasons, Tampa Bay, Florida, and Carolina will not be a part of the review.

March 21 - March 27

(7) Dallas Stars

Games Played 4

Points Accumulated 4

Points from Playoffs 6

The season in a nut-shell. Dallas dropped a point against a key division rival (Nashville), got played out of the building by Tampa Bay, responded by returning the favor against those same Bolts, and then finally falling in the extra frame against the Panthers. It feels like this group can do anything (good or bad) on any given night. Overall, Dallas held serve against the Blackhawks and gained ground on both Columbus and Detroit. The awful, no-good, very bad news? Nashville is going streaking.

(4) Nashville Predators

Games Played 4

Points Accumulated 8

Change vs. Dallas +4

Definitely not the sort of week Stars fans want to see. In terms of points, Nashville was perfect, and if the season ended tomorrow, the Predators would snag the Disco Division’s final playoff spot. A pair of games against Detroit help, including a 7-1 annihilation, but heading into Sunday night Nashville was on a 5-game winning streak. That’s bad news. The one blemish is that Nashville allowed the Stars to reach overtime on Sunday, which offset the benefit of beating the rival Stars.

(5) Chicago Blackhawks

Games Played 3

Points Accumulated 4

Change vs. Dallas 0

A win against Florida was a nice surprise given the respective seasons both teams are having. Two unexpected points keep the Hawks technically tied with Nashville atop the division. Two goals against in two games was a big part of that story for a team that has run hot and cold between the pipes this season. Ending the week with a loss to the Nashville Predators hurts big time.

(6) Columbus Blue Jackets

Games Played 3

Points Accumulated 1

Change vs. Dallas -3

At one point the leaders in the proverbial club-house sidekick shack, Columbus now sits three points back from both the Blackhawks and Predators. Two games against the white-hot Carolina Hurricanes will do that to pretty much any team these days. With tantalizing pieces on the roster and playoff hopes fading, another slip might be all-she-wrote for this bunch.

(8) Detroit Red Wings

Games Played 3

Points Accumulated 2

Change vs. Dallas -2

Back-to-back losses to Nashville are the sort of playoff-killing stumble teams in the lower reaches of the Central Division simply cannot afford. The fact that one of those losses was 7-1 should tell you everything you need to know about where Detroit sits in the competitive cycle. Still, they did manage a regulation win against Columbus, that’s tough to do this season.