2014 Playoff Tracker for March 27

Thursday, 03.27.2014 / 9:53 AM
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2014 Playoff Tracker
2014 Playoff Tracker for March 27

The Dallas Stars don't play Thursday night, but the team they are chasing for that final playoff spot in the Western Conference is in action. The Phoenix Coyotes wrap up a three-game road trip in New Jersey tonight The Coyotes are three points ahead of the Stars, who have one game in hand. The Stars will be three, four or five points behind the Coyotes with two games in hand when they play Nashville Friday at American Airlines Center. The Stars still control their own destiny in the race, but a little help from the Devils wouldn't hurt.

The Vancouver Canucks beat Minnesota, 5-2, in St. Paul Wednesday. It was the third straight win for the Canucks, who haven't put three wins in a row together since December. The Canucks pulled to within four points of Phoenix and one point of the Stars, but they have played one more game than the Coyotes  and two more than the Stars, so they'll need help from other teams to have a chance. But they are still alive and kicking and they have a chance to help their own cause when they play on the second end of a back-to-back Thursday night in Colorado.

The Wild, who have lost three of four (1-2-1), play the second of a back-to-back Thursday night in St. Louis. That tilt kicks off a four-game road trip that will take Minnesota to Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago as well. It's a key stretch for the Wild, who need some points or they could fall back into that scrum for the final spot.

Anaheim won 3-2 at Calgary Wednesday to pull within two points of San Jose for first in the Pacific Division. The Ducks have two games in hand on the Sharks.

Tonight's other games

Chicago is at Boston in a rematch of last season's Stanley Cup Final. The Blackhawks have a three point lead over Colorado for second in the Central Division. Colorado, which has a game in hand, hosts Vancouver.

Los Angeles, which is locked into the third spot in the Pacific, goes for its fifth straight win when it plays at Pittsburgh.

San Jose plays at Winnipeg. The Sharks have a chance to up their lead on the idle Ducks in the race for the top spot in the Pacific. The Jets are still mathematically alive, but running on fumes in the race.

Nashville hosts Buffalo, and the Predators are in the same boat as Winnipeg.

Playoff chances

The chances of the Stars making the playoffs were up slightly, according to two sites that put numbers to these things. 

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars a 50.9 percent chance of making the playoffs, up from 49.3 percent on Wednesday.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 40.1 percent chance, up from 37.3 percent on Wednesday.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-St. Louis

72

49

16

7

105

41

70

  vs. MIN
2

Chicago

73

42

16

15

99

37

56

  @ BOS
3

Colorado

72

45

21

6

96

41

23

  vs. VAN
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-San Jose

74

47

18

9

103

37

50

 

vs. WPG
2

x-Anaheim

72

47

18

7

101

45

49

W 3-2 @ CGY

3

Los Angeles

73

42

25

6

90

34

27

 

@ PIT
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

Minnesota

73

37

25

11

85

30

-1

L 5-2 vs. VAN

@ STL

2

Phoenix

73

35

26

12

82

30

-5

 

@ NJD
3

Dallas

72

34

27

11

79

31

-4

 

 
4

Vancouver

74

34

30

10

78

29

-17

W 5-2 @ MIN

@ COL

5

Nashville

73

31

31

11

73

30

-41

 

vs. BUF
6

Winnipeg

73

32

32

9

73

26

-11

 

@ SJS

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. Phoenix (wild card with fewest points) and Chicago vs. Colorado. The winner of St. Louis-Phoenix would play the winner of Chicago-Colorado in the division finals. The Pacific Division playoffs would have San Jose vs. Minnesota and Anaheim vs. Los Angeles. The winner of San Jose-Minnesota would play the winner of Anaheim-Los Angeles in the division finals.

The division champions would then play in the conference finals. There is no more reseeding of seeds 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. Phoenix

3. Dallas

4. Vancouver

5. Nashville

6. Winnipeg

Points

85

82

79

78

73

73

ROW

30

30

31

29

30

26

Games Remaining

9

9

10

8

9

9

Home

4

5

4

6

4

3

Road

5

4

6

2

5

6

Mar 27

@ STL

@ NJD

 

@ COL

vs. BUF

@ SJS

Mar 28

 

 

vs. NSH

 

@ DAL

 

Mar 29

@ PHX

vs. MIN

@STL

vs. ANA

 

@ LAK

Mar 30

 

 

 

 

vs. WSH

 

Mar 31

@ LAK

 

 

 

 

@ ANA

Apr 1

 

vs. WPG

@ WSH

vs. NYR

 

@ PHX

Apr 2

 

@LAK

 

 

 

 

Apr 3

@ CHI

 

@ CAR

 

 

vs. PIT

Apr 4

 

vs. EDM

 

 

@ ANA

 

Apr 5

vs. PIT

 

@ TBL

vs. LAK

@ SJS

@ TOR

Apr 6

 

 

@ FLA

 

 

 

Apr 7

@ WPG

 

 

vs. ANA

 

vs. MIN

Apr 8

vs. BOS

@ CBJ

vs. NSH

 

@ DAL

 

Apr 9

 

 

vs. CBJ

 

 

 

Apr 10

vs. STL

@ NSH

 

vs. COL

vs. PHX

vs. BOS

Apr 11

 

 

vs. STL

 

 

@ CGY

Apr 12

 

vs. SJS

 

@ EDM

vs. CHI

 

Apr 13

vs. NSH

vs. DAL

@ PHX

vs. CGY

@ MIN

 

 

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