The San Jose Sharks may have clinched a playoff spot, and at a minimum the seventh seed, but there is still plenty of work to be done. The current four through seven seeds have all played the same 79 games, so there are no game-in-hand situation to work out. If the playoffs started today, the matchups would be: Detroit-Edmonton, Dallas-Colorado, Calgary-San Jose and Nashville-Anaheim.
The standings as of Thursday morning were: Nashville 100 points Anaheim 96 points San Jose 95 points Colorado 94 points Edmonton 91 points
Anaheim, San Jose and Colorado could catch Nashville if the Predators lose their final three contests and only the Avalanche could become the fourth seed in a tie breaker situation. San Jose and Anaheim can’t catch Nashville in victories. Plus, even with Thomas Vokoun out for the rest of the regular season and playoffs, it is assuming a lot for Nashville to lose their remaining three contests (Minnesota, Phoenix and Detroit all at home).
The Ducks (at Edmonton, at San Jose, vs. Calgary) and Sharks (Vancouver, Anaheim, Los Angeles, all at home) control their own destinies for the fifth spot if they win out. That is an impossibility for both clubs as they have the head-to-head contest on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Colorado (at Calgary, at Vancouver at Edmonton), sitting in the seventh position, could still surpass Nashville, Anaheim and San Jose, but still have to worry about Edmonton who sits three points back. But the Oilers only have two remaining contests versus Colorado’s three. That doesn’t include the season finale however.
In short, there is still too much conjecture to give a final answer, but the good news is the Sharks are in and whoever they play, could be looking at the hottest team in the west.