Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Dallas Stars

2014 Playoff Tracker for April 8

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The race for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference ramps up tonight with both the Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes getting back into action. The Stars host Nashville, while the Coyotes will play at Columbus.

The Stars have a one point lead over Phoenix and own the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (ROW). That means the Stars can make the playoffs by tying Phoenix in points at the end of the season or, obviously, finishing with more points. In order for Phoenix to secure a playoff spot, they have to finish with more points than the Stars. A tie will do the Coyotes no good because they will lose the ROW tiebreaker.

The Stars didn't skate Monday. They are still in the midst of a tough stretch of scheduling. Tuesday's game against Nashville will be their third in four nights and then they'll play a fourth in five nights when they host Columbus on Wednesday. But the focus now is on the Predators, who come in with two days rest, riding a three-game winning streak and a little life in the playoff race. They've been a good road team this season as well, posting a respectable 18-15-6 mark away from home.

Phoenix has lost four straight (0-2-2) and has scored just four goals during that slide. Goaltender Mike Smith, who has been out with a lower body injury, practiced Monday but still is listed as day to day. The Coyotes will have had three days rest when they play at Columbus, which will be playing their fourth game in six nights but only their second in the last four. The Blue Jackets are sitting in the final playoff spot in the East, three points ahead of ninth place. They are also only two points out of third in the Metropolitan Division. There is plenty at stake for the Blue Jackets.

Minnesota defeated Winnipeg, 1-0, Monday to move seven points ahead of the Stars and eight points up on the Coyotes. The Wild, who host Boston on Tuesday, now have a magic number of one to clinch a playoff spot.

Anaheim defeated Vancouver, 3-0, on Monday. The Ducks are now within one point of St. Louis for the top spot in the Western Conference. The loss eliminated the Canucks from the playoff race.

Tonight's other games

St. Louis hosts Washington. The Blues, who have lost two in a row, now find themselves in a battle for the top spot in the West with the Ducks.

Colorado is at Edmonton. The Avalanche are two points ahead of Chicago for second in the Central Division with one game in hand.

Playoff chances

Here's a look at the playoff chances for the Stars from two sites that track those things.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars a 71.2 percent chance of making the postseason. Phoenix is at 28.2 percent. Minnesota is now at 100 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 74.3 percent chance. Phoenix is at 25.4 percent. Minnesota is at 100 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 78 52 19 7 111 43 68   vs. WSH
2

x-Colorado

78 50 21 7 107 45 30   @ EDM
3

x-Chicago

79 45 19 15 105 39 52    
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Anaheim

79 51 20 8 110 49 52 W 3-0 @ VAN  
2

x-San Jose

79 49 21 9 107 39 47    
3

x-Los Angeles

79 45 28 6 96 37 31    
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

79 41 26 12 94 34 2 W 1-0 @ VAN vs. BOS
2

Dallas

78 38 29 11 87 35 6   vs. NSH
3

Phoenix

78 36 28 14 86 30 -12   @ CBJ
4 Nashville 78 35 32 11 81 33 -33   @ DAL
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. Nashville

Points

94

87

86

81

ROW

34

35

30

33

Games Remaining

3

4

4

4

Home

3

3

2

2

Road

0

1

2

2

Apr 8

vs. BOS

vs. NSH

@ CBJ

@ DAL

Apr 9

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

 

@ NSH

vs. PHX

Apr 11

 

vs. STL

 

 

Apr 12

 

 

vs. SJS

vs. CHI

Apr 13

vs. NSH

@ PHX

vs. DAL

@ MIN

View More