2014 Playoff Tracker for April 10

Thursday, 04.10.2014 / 10:54 AM
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2014 Playoff Tracker
2014 Playoff Tracker for April 10

The Stars have two games left on their schedule and they still hold a two point lead over Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Coyotes have one game in hand, which they play tonight in Nashville. It's the final playoff spot still up for grabs in the NHL after the final spots in the Eastern Conference were locked up last night.

Despite last night's loss, the Stars are still in control of their own fate. They have the lead in the race and have already wrapped up the first tiebreaker, which is regulation/overtime wins (ROW). But the loss allowed Phoenix to regain control of its own destiny again.

The Stars' magic number remains at four points. Any combination of four points gained by the Stars or lost by the Coyotes and the Stars would clinch a playoff spot. The Stars could have cut that magic number down with points last night, but they didn't and now the focus shifts to what happens with the Coyotes in Nashville.

The Coyotes have lost five straight games, and what's kept them alive is that they have picked up points in three of those losses (0-2-3) and that the Stars have dropped a couple of games in regulation. While the Coyotes have control of their fate again, they need at least one point tonight to maintain it. A regulation loss Thursday night and Dallas could eliminate them as soon as Friday.

The Coyotes come into tonight's game after three days off. Goaltender Mike Smith, who has missed the last seven games with a lower body injury, is practicing but doesn't appear ready to play yet.

Anaheim defeated San Jose, 5-2, Wednesday to clinch the Pacific Division. The Ducks also moved ahead of St. Louis by one point for the best record in the Western Conference. With Anaheim clinching the division, it means that San Jose and Los Angeles will meet in the first round of the playoffs.

Chicago defeated Montreal in overtime. The Blackhawks pulled to within two points of Colorado for second place in the Central Division.

Tonight's other games

St. Louis plays at Minnesota. The Blues have a chance to surpass the Ducks and move back into the top spot in the Western Conference. The Blues are also trying to hold off Colorado for the Central Division lead. The Avs, who play at Vancouver Thursday, are two points behind the Blues.

The East

Columbus clinched a playoff spot in the East with its win over the Stars last night. Detroit secured a spot as well, meaning that all eight spots in the Eastern Conference have been claimed. The only question now is seeding. The eight teams heading to the post season in the East are Boston, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Tampa Bay, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Detroit and Columbus.

Playoff chances

The Stars' playoff chances dropped some after Wednesday night's loss.

Hockeyreference.com's playoff probabilities report gives the Stars a 70.2 percent chance of securing a playoff spot. Phoenix is at 29.8 percent.

Sportsclubstats.com gives the Stars a 69.5 percent chance of getting into the playoffs. Phoenix is at 30.5 percent.

Western Conference Playoff Race

RK

CENTRAL DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1 x-St. Louis 79 52 20 7 111 43 65   @ MIN
2

x-Colorado

79 51 21 7 109 46 33   @ VAN
3

x-Chicago

80 46 19 15 107 40 53 W 3-2 (OT) vs. MTL  
RK

PACIFIC DIVISION

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

y-Anaheim

80 52 20 8 112 50 55 W 5-2 vs. SJS  
2

x-San Jose

80 49 22 9 107 39 44 L 5-2 @ ANA  
3

x-Los Angeles

80 45 28 7 97 37 30 L 4-3 (SO) @ CGY @ EDM
RK

WILD CARD

GP

W

L

OT

PTS

ROW

DIFF

Last night

Tonight

1

x-Minnesota

80 42 26 12 96 34 3   vs. STL
2

Dallas

80 39 30 11 89 35 5 L 3-1 vs. CBJ  
3

Phoenix

79 36 28 15 87 30 -13   @ NSH
x - clinched playoff spot
y - clinched division

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

 

2. Dallas

3. Phoenix

Points

89

87

ROW

35

30

Games Remaining

2

3

Home

1

2

Road

1

1

Apr 10

 

@ NSH

Apr 11

vs. STL

 

Apr 12

 

vs. SJS

Apr 13

@ PHX

vs. DAL

SCHEDULE

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