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2014 Playoff Tracker for April 2

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars are back in a playoff spot due to their 5-0 victory in Washington Tuesday night and Phoenix picking up only one point in its game against Winnipeg. The Stars have won three straight and five of their last six games (5-1-0), and are sitting in that second wild card spot for the first time since March 17.

The Stars and Coyotes are tied at 85 points, but the Stars have played one fewer game so they are ahead of the Coyotes based on points percentage. Even if the number of games and points were the same, the Stars have the regulation/overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker by a 34-30 margin.

Right now, things look good for the Stars, but there is still a ways to go. They have a stretch of five games in seven days, including four in five, on the horizon. That's some tough scheduling.

Phoenix lost 2-1 in a shootout to Winnipeg in Glendale Tuesday night. The loss means that the Coyotes don’t control their own fate in the race at this point. But that is getting ahead of things since there is a lot of hockey left, starting tonight when the Coyotes play at Los Angeles on the second end of a back-to-back. The pressure is really on Phoenix tonight.  

The Stars also pulled to within four points of Minnesota for that second wild card spot. The Stars have a game in hand on the Wild, who next play Thursday at Chicago.

Colorado rallied to beat Columbus in overtime. The Avalanche moved three points ahead of Chicago for second place in the Pacific. It's significant because it means home ice in what looks like a first round playoff matchup between the Avs and Blackhawks.

San Jose defeated the Edmonton Oilers 5-4 Tuesday to pull to within one point of Anaheim for first in the Pacific. The Ducks hosts Edmonton Wednesday, so they'll have a chance to increase their lead over the Sharks. Whoever ends up in second place in the Pacific gets the Kings in round one of the playoffs.

Vancouver lost 3-1 to the New York Rangers. The Canucks still are mathematically alive, but they don’t have much of a chance. Phoenix and Dallas would have to collapse and the Canucks would need to win out.

Playoff chances

Here's a look at the playoff chances of the teams in the Western Conference wild card chase, according to a couple sites. The Stars’ chances, obviously, are up and the Coyotes’ have taken a hit.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report puts the Stars chances of making the playoffs at 79.6 percent. Minnesota is at 91.6 percent and Phoenix has dropped to 28.7 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com has the Stars' chances of making the playoffs at 74.1 percent. Minnesota is at 91.7 percent and Phoenix dropped to 34.2 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 75 51 17 7 109 42 73 W 1-0 (SO) vs. PHI  
2

x-Colorado

75 48 21 6 102 44 26 W 3-2 (OT) @ CBJ  
3

x-Chicago

76 42 19 15 99 37 48    
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

75 49 18 8 106 47 53   vs. EDM
2

x-San Jose

77 48 20 9 105 38 49 W 5-4 vs. EDM  
3

Los Angeles

76 44 26 6 94 36 29   vs. PHX
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

76 39 26 11 89 32 -2    
2

Dallas

75 37 27 11 85 34 7 W 5-0 @ WSH  
3

Phoenix

76 36 27 13 85 30 -7 L 2-1 (SO) vs. WPG @ LAK
4

Vancouver

77 34 32 11 79 29 -24 L 3-1 vs. NYR  
5

Winnipeg

77 34 33 10 78 27 -12 W 2-1 (SO) @ PHX  
6

Nashville

76 33 32 11 77 31 -39    
x - clinched playoff spot

Playoff format

The playoff format this season has changed due to realignment. The playoffs are now divisional. In the first round, the division winner with the most points will play the wild card team with the fewest points. The division leader with the second-most points will play the wild card team with the most points. The second-place team in each division will play the third-place team in each division. The wild card teams will stay in the division they play in the first round.

For example, if the playoffs started today: The Central Division playoff would have St. Louis (division winner with most points) vs. Dallas (wild card with fewest points) and Colorado vs. Chicago. The winner of St. Louis-Dallas would play the winner of Colorado-Chicago in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have Anaheim (division winner with second-most points) vs. Minnesota (wild card with most points) and San Jose vs. Los Angeles. The winner of Anaheim-Minnesota would play the winner of San Jose-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of teams after each round, it is bracket play leading up to the conference finals.

The Western and Eastern conference champions, of course, then play for the Stanley Cup.

Wild card playoff race schedules

 

1. Minnesota

2. Dallas

3. Phoenix

4. Vancouver

5. Winnipeg

5. Nashville

Points

89

85

85

79

78

77

ROW

32

34

30

29

27

31

Games Remaining

6

7

6

5

5

6

Home

4

3

3

4

3

2

Road

2

4

3

1

2

4

Apr 2

 

 

@LAK

 

 

 

Apr 3

@ CHI

@ CAR

 

 

vs. PIT

 

Apr 4

 

 

vs. EDM

 

 

@ ANA

Apr 5

vs. PIT

@ TBL

 

vs. LAK

@ TOR

@ SJS

Apr 6

 

@ FLA

 

 

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

vs. ANA

vs. MIN

 

Apr 8

vs. BOS

vs. NSH

@ CBJ

 

 

@ DAL

Apr 9

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

 

@ NSH

vs. COL

vs. BOS

vs. PHX

Apr 11

 

vs. STL

 

 

@ CGY

 

Apr 12

 

 

vs. SJS

@ EDM

 

vs. CHI

Apr 13

vs. NSH

@ PHX

vs. DAL

vs. CGY

 

@ MIN

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