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Playoff Hunt: The Weekend In The West

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
We've reached the final weekend of March and the playoff races are starting to take shape in the Western Conference. Check out's sneak peak at this weekend's match-ups of immediate concern to the Preds and the Western Conference playoff race.

We're tracking all teams within five points of the Preds in the conference standings heading into this weekend's play.

Team Points* Adjusted Wins^ Games Remaining* Max Pts** This Weekend's Schedule
#2 Detroit 95 39 8 (5H/3A) 111 Sat vs. TOR, Mon vs. CHI
#3 San Jose 95 38 7 (4H/3A) 109 Sat at PHX
#4 Phoenix 93 37 6 (4H/2A) 105 Sat vs. SJ
#5 Los Angeles 90 33 8 (4H/4A) 106 Sat vs. COL
#6 Nashville 90 34 7 (5H/2A) 104 Sat vs DAL
#7 Chicago 88 35 9 (4H/5A) 106 Sat vs. ANA, Mon at DET
#8 Anaheim 87 37 8 (4H/4A) 103 Sat at CHI, Mon vs COL
#9 Dallas 86 33 9 (2H/7A) 104 Sat at NSH
#10 Calgary 85 29 6 (3H/3A) 97 Sat at EDM
* as of all games played on Thu, March 24     ^ the first tie-breaker is regulation/OT wins (excluding shootout wins)
** the most points a team can finish with in the '10-11 regular season (based on games played as of Thu, March 24)

Clinch Watch: Vancouver has already clinched a playoff spot. Vancouver has also already clinched the division title and a guaranteed top-three seed in the Conference playoffs ... Edmonton and Colorado have been eliminated from playoff contention ... No other teams can clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference this weekend ... No other teams can be eliminated from playoff contention this weekend.

Notable: The Preds have pulled within five points of both Detroit and San Jose, so both teams have been included in the watch for this weekend. Detroit and San Jose are currently leading their divisions and division winners are guaranteed a top-three seed in the playoffs ... On Saturday, all nine teams in the No.2-10 seeds in the Western Conference will be in action, including three head-to-head match-ups: Dallas at Nashville, Anaheim at Chicago, and San Jose at Phoenix ... There is one out-of-conference match-up of note this weekend: Detroit vs. Toronto on Saturday ... None of the teams are involved in back-to-back sets this weekend, but Chicago does start a three-games-in-four-nights stretch (Sat vs. Anaheim, Mon at Detroit, Tue at Boston).

The Week That Was: The seven teams from the No. 2-10 seeds in the Western Conference posted a combined 9-3-4 record on the week ... Three of the five head-to-head match-ups between the nine teams in that playoff pack went to overtime/shootout: LA's shootout win over Calgary on Monday, Anaheim's OT win over Dallas on Wednesday, and LA's shootout win over San Jose on Thursday ... LA, Nashville, and Phoenix each posted a 2-0-0 record during the mid-week. Anaheim (1-1-0), Chicago (1-0-0), and San Jose (1-0-1) each picked up one win on the week, while Calgary (0-1-1), Dallas (0-0-1), and Detroit (0-1-1) went without a win during the mid-week.

Tie Breakers

If teams finish the season with the same number of points, the following procedure is used to determine seeding:
1. The greater number of games won, excluding games won in the Shootout (NEW for 2010-11). This figure is reflected in the ROW column.
2. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied, and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.
3. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.

Nashville's tie-breaker situation vs. playoff pack
#2 Detroit - Detroit leads ROW (39 wins to 34 wins - Nashville can get a max ROW of 41 wins); Nashville won season series (8pts to 2pts, 1 meeting remaining).
#3 San Jose - San Jose leads ROW (38 wins to 34 wins); Nashville won season series (6pts to 4pts).
#4 Phoenix - Phoenix leads ROW (37 wins to 34 wins); season series split (4pts to 4 pts); Nashville leads goal differential (+21 goals to +10 goals)
#5 Los Angeles - Nashville leads ROW (34 wins to 33 wins); Los Angeles won season series (6pts to 2 pts).
#7 Chicago - Chicago leads ROW (35 wins to 34 wins); Chicago won season series (8pts to 6pts).
#8 Anaheim - Anaheim leads ROW (37 wins to 34 wins); Nashville won season series (6pts to 2 pts).
#9 Dallas - Nashville leads ROW (34 wins to 33 wins); Dallas leads season series (4pts to 2 pts, 1 meeting remaining); Nashville leads goal differential (+21 goals to Even goals).
#10 Calgary - Nashville leads ROW (34 wins to 29 wins - Calgary can get a max ROW of 35 wins); Calgary won season series (8pts to 2pts).

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